It Was A Historic Storm That Hit Southeast Minnesota
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The weather system that affected southern Minnesota and parts of Iowa and Wisconsin on Wednesday was historic, as promised by the National Weather Service.
Record temperature and wind speeds were set and for the first time ever, tornadoes were reported in December in Minnesota.
The Weather Service received reports of tornadoes in Eyota and Plainview and one may have struck the small Freeborn County town of Hartland, which apparently took took the hardest hit from the storm.
Funnel clouds were reported in the Nodine and Harmony areas.
There were thousands of power outages during the storm and hundreds were still being reported in Rochester and areas served by Oronoco-based People’s Energy Cooperative as of 4:30 am Thursday. Utility repair crews will likely be busy into Thursday evening restoring service as many of the outages are individual incidents.
Rochester set one weather record and tied another Wednesday. The high temperature at the Rochester Airport of 64 degrees was the warmest ever for Dec. 15 and it tied for the warmest reading ever for the month of December. The 77 mph measured wind gust was the 2nd highest ever recorded at the airport.
There were even higher gusts reported in the region:
Grand Meadow 83
St Marys Hospital 67
The strong winds knocked down trees and power lines and caused other damage in many areas.
A sign at Rochester's Northgate Shopping Center also became a victim of the storm:
The temperature at the airport fell from 62 at 7:00 pm Wednesday to 32 degrees at midnight as a cold front followed the storm system into the region.