ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Brainerd saw record wind gusts in Thursday's storm

Severe thunderstorms have missed the Brainerd lakes area in the past - but not Thursday. Mother Nature packed a powerful punch Thursday morning, giving residents a storm they hadn't seen for awhile - one with a heavy downpour of rain and the high...

Severe thunderstorms have missed the Brainerd lakes area in the past - but not Thursday.

Mother Nature packed a powerful punch Thursday morning, giving residents a storm they hadn't seen for awhile - one with a heavy downpour of rain and the highest wind gusts they've ever seen.

Kevin Huyck of the National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth said winds gusting at 69 mph whipped through Brainerd around 7:05 a.m. However, that was not the highest wind gusts in the area. At 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Verndale saw an 84 mph wind gust and about 15 minutes later, Staples saw 79 mph winds.

According to AccuWeather.com, a storm with winds reaching 74-95 mph is comparable to a category 1 hurricane.

"This is the highest wind gust we have on record for Brainerd," said Huyck. "There was extensive wind damage in the Brainerd area."

ADVERTISEMENT

The severe thunderstorm, with damaging winds, moved much across the lakes area in the morning, with hail and heavy rainfall along and south of the Highway 2 corridor and eventually moved to the upper peninsula on Lake Michigan.

"From time to time we see a strong wind storm and they seem to come overnight or during the early morning hours," said Huyck. "This storm got started in North Dakota last night (Wednesday) and made its way with a pretty strong storm. We get a couple of these in our region each year. We didn't hear of any tornados."

Brainerd saw more wind than rain. Huyck said it was a "pretty tight corridor" north of Brainerd that saw the heavy rain. Brainerd Pequot Lakes, Pierz and Aitkin saw about 4-5 inches of rain and Crosslake, which was on the edge saw 2 inches. Brainerd had under an inch, or .84 inch of rain. A location seven miles northwest of Brainerd had 1.62 inches of rain.

Other rain totals:

โ€ข Onamia, 4.26 inches.

โ€ข Little Falls, 3.62 inches.

โ€ข Baxter, 2.5 inches.

โ€ข Aitkin, 2.2 inches.

ADVERTISEMENT

โ€ข Breezy Point, 1.52 inches.

โ€ข Jenkins, 1.26 inches.

Different areas in the lakes area saw hail. The NWS reported quarter-inch hail in Nisswa and Breezy point; half-inch hail six miles southeast of Nisswa; .88-inch hail located seven miles northwest of Brainerd; and golf ball sized hail was reported near Onamia.

The NWS in Grand Forks issued a flood warning for Wadena County and parts of Hubbard, Becker and Otter Tail counties after an estimated 2-4 inches of rain fell Thursday morning and another 1-3 inches of rain was expected later Thursday.

What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT

Must Reads
Exclusive