Now white stuff is hail
Jimmy Lee, a Daggett Brook Township resident, had a rude awakening Tuesday morning.
About 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, a small but powerful thunderstorm passed over his home at Crow Wing County Road 2 and Highway 25, dropping hail as big as 2.5 inches in diameter.
The sound of the hail battering his house woke Lee and his wife. The impact of the hail on the soft ground was strong enough to leave holes behind, he said.
"It was just unreal," Lee said. "I've never seen hail like that in my life and I've been around quite a while."
Lee said he was having his roof looked at for damage. He wasn't aware of any other damage to his property, but said when he talked to his insurance company Tuesday they said they've had a lot of calls about vehicle damage in southern Crow Wing County.
Alex Lamers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth reported, said the thunderstorm formed over southern Crow Wing County, moved to the northeast and dissipated just north of Lake Mille Lacs.
John Bowen, Crow Wing County y emergency management director, said the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department received a report of golf ball size hail from a resident on Crow Wing County Road 130. A weather spotter in Fort Ripley reported to the weather service hail 1-inch in diameter, and the weather service also received a report of 2-inch hail 11 miles south of Brainerd.
The Storm Prediction Center lists a slight risk for strong thunderstorms over central Minnesota into Wednesday, with a risk of supercells forming with large hail and possibly damaging winds and a few tornados.
Lamers said there's a slight chance of thunderstorms continuing into Thursday.
"People should probably keep an eye on the skies, there might be stronger storms later," Lamers said.
A tornado watch was issued shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties. The watch was in effect until midnight Tuesday.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued about 6:30 p.m. and pea-sized hail was reported during a downpour between Pillager and Motley; and 1.25 inch hail was reported near Bowlus in Morrison County.
About 7:40 p.m. the Crow Wing County Sheriff's dispatching center received a call about a possible funnel cloud in Baxter, but responding law enforcement officers were unable to locate any twister.
The weather service's forecast calls for a chance of rain through the week, with a 30 percent chance on Wednesday, a 40 percent chance Wednesday night, a 50-percent chance Thursday and Thursday night, a 40-percent chance Friday, a 50-percent chance Friday night and a 20-percent chance Saturday.
Continued rain has resulted in a flood advisory being maintained for the Mississippi River at Fort Ripley and a flood warning for the Mississippi River at Aitkin.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday the Mississippi River at Fort Ripley was at 9.3 feet. The flood stage at Fort Ripley is 10 feet. At 2 p.m. Tuesday the Mississippi River at Aitkin was at 12.27 feet, above the 12-foot flood stage, and minor flooding of farmland was occurring.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.