Northland Storm Reports for Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Note: Additional storm reports could continue to come into the National Weather Service through the night, and if that happens I’ll send out another storm reports blog post on Thursday from today’s severe weather event.

8:30 PM: FUNNEL CLOUD — 4 NE Orr, MN (St. Louis County) Funnel cloud spotted looking northeast from between Orr and Gheen.

8:10 PM: TORNADO — 3 WNW Gheen, MN (St. Louis County) Small debris lofted by tornado with funnel seen. Tornado headed east towards Elbow Lake.

8:07 PM: TORNADO — 2 NW Gheen, MN (St. Louis County) A trained spotter reported a storm with heavy rotation and a tornado on the ground just south of Orr, near US Highway 53.

7:45 PM: THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE — 6 W Greaney, MN (Koochiching County) 5 pine and popple trees that were about 2 feet in diameter knocked down due to straight line winds.

6:49 PM: THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE — 1 WNW Littlefork, MN (Koochiching County) Bleachers damaged at fairgrounds in Littlefork. Tree down on a powerline in Littlefork.

6:49 PM THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE — Littlefork, MN (Koochiching County) Trees down along Highway 65 near Littlefork and trees down knocking down powerlines in Littlefork.

6:20 PM: THUNDERSTORM WIND GUST — 70 MPH. 2 E Birchdale, MN (Koochiching County)

6:00 PM: TORNADO — 3 N Wirt, MN (Itasca County) Law Enforcement reported a funnel cloud that touched down briefly on County Road 14 near County Road 31 heading east towards Bigfork.

Radar shot from earlier this evening (6:40 PM) Something you don’t see very often in this area are scattered supercells which we’re spaced apart perfectly, each having strong inflow to help maintain their strength. These storms in far northern Minnesota late this afternoon-early this evening have produced tornadoes, funnel clouds and wind damage.

Parameters for severe weather were on the high side late this afternoon in northern Minnesota, images below are from the Storm Prediction Center’s meso-analysis page.

First image below is the Storm Relative Helicity which showed values of 200 m2/s2 to 300 m2/s2 in northern Minnesota late this afternoon, this is more than enough for severe weather and tornado development.

Significant tornado parameters ranged from 2 to 3 in northern Minnesota late this afternoon. Typically values of 1 can be enough for tornado development if other ingredients are in place.

This is the basic setup which was in place late this afternoon to support supercell thunderstorms in far northern Minnesota.

*Warm front/wind shift boundary with southwest winds on one side of the front, southeast winds on the other side of the front. Changing wind directions with good convergence near the boundary which was maximized in far northern Minnesota.

*Around 40 to 60 knots of shear.

*Around 20-25 knots of 1km shear.

Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms remain possible through late this evening in the white outlined area on the image below. Storms are tracking to the east/northeast.

00z HRRR model forecast valid through 7 AM Thursday.

Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms continue through late this evening in extreme northern Minnesota up near the Ontario border.

Thunderstorm development overnight is more uncertain, but we could see an area of thunderstorms develop in southern parts of Minnesota overnight, those storms would track to the east/northeast and should stay south of our area.

Thursday is shaping up to be a warm day across the Northland with highs in the 80s. A few locations might even reach 90 degrees (most likely in east-central Minnesota/northwest Wisconsin)

Thursday also looks like a muggy day with dew points ranging from around 60 to the lower 70s.

A few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible in the Northland on Thursday but there should be many dry hours mixed in.

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