Central Minnesota Flood: July 11-12, 2016

Precipitation Map from the July 11-12, 2016 Rain Event
Precipitation Map from the July 11-12, 2016 Rain Event
 
Source: MNDNR State Climatology Office.

The largest flash flood since the June 19-20, 2012 event in northeast Minnesota struck some of the same areas on July 11-12, 2016. This time Pine County was hit especially hard. The highest two-day total found so far with this event was 9.34 inches at a DNR rain gauge volunteer site near Cloverton in eastern Pine County, near the Wisconsin border. The event was approximately 24 hours in duration, but covered two of the observer's recording periods. Flooding rains also affected parts of Morrison, Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Benton, Mille Lacs, Kanabec and Carlton Counties. Numerous roads were affected by water in the hardest hit counties. Southbound I-35 was closed for a time and Highway 61 was closed during the afternoon hours of the 12th.

The area covered by at least six inches of rainfall exceeded 2,000 square miles, easily qualifying this as a "mega" rainfall event--which requires at least 1,000 square miles of 6 inches or more rain. Pine County alone would have qualified for this unusual distinction.

The main storm event was the finale of a stormy week across northern and central parts of the state, and formed as a warm front draped from west to east across central Minnesota. Dew point temperatures rose into the middle 70s across southern Minnesota, with a 25-degree air temperature difference over a short distance across the front. Thunderstorms developed along this sharp boundary in the early morning hours on the 11th and continued almost unabated in central Minnesota until the last shower crossed the Wisconsin border in the early hours of July 12th.

Aside from the heavy rain, at least three tornadoes affected Meeker and Stearns Counties, with EF-2 level tornado damage reported in both Watkins and Lichfield in Meeker County.

radar loop of heavy rain and severe weather event, July 11-12, 2016
6 hour Radar loop ending at 11:13 PM CDT on July 11, 2016. Note that sequence begins after heavy event was well underway, but does capture the tornadoes.
 
Source: College of DuPage
 

Storm summaries from the National Weather Service

Chanhassen

Duluth

Grand Forks


Photographs of flooding.

Rum River in Milaca and Recreation Park in Milaca Courtesy Mille Lacs Soil and Water Conservation District.


Below is a list of storm reports gathered by the National Weather Service

NWUS53 KMPX 120802
LSRMPX

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
302 AM CDT TUE JUL 12 2016

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0725 PM     TORNADO          4 NW ROCKVILLE          45.52N 94.40W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BARNS DAMAGED, SHED DESTROYED, TREES DOWN,
            INCLUDING ONE ON HOUSE. PROBABLE TORNADO.

0545 PM     TORNADO          1 W FOREST CITY         45.21N 94.49W
07/11/2016                   MEEKER             MN   STORM CHASER

            BRIEF TOUCHDOWN. NO DAMAGE.

0605 PM     TORNADO          3 N WATKINS             45.36N 94.41W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   STORM CHASER

            TORNADO CAUGHT ON VIDEO. TORNADO WAS ON
            GROUND FOR ABOUT 1.5 MILES.

0945 PM     FLASH FLOOD      9 NNW QUAMBA            46.02N 93.26W
07/11/2016                   KANABEC            MN   911 CALL CENTER

            MOHAGANY AVE AT 300TH AVE AND 310TH AVE
            CLOSED BY HIGH WATER. .

0932 PM     HEAVY RAIN       3 WNW BOCK              45.81N 93.61W
07/11/2016  M3.14 INCH       MILLE LACS         MN   MESONET

            MESONET STATION BOCK 3WNW /C6351/. RAINFALL
            PAST 12 HOURS. .

0928 PM     HEAVY RAIN       7 N GRANITE LEDGE       45.90N 93.85W
07/11/2016  M3.97 INCH       MORRISON           MN   MESONET

            MESONET STATION GRANITE LEDGE 7N /C0288/.
            RAINFALL TOTAL PAST 12 HOURS. .

0900 PM     HAIL             MONTICELLO              45.31N 93.80W
07/11/2016  M1.00 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            REPORTED ON EAST SIDE OF TOWN. .

0850 PM     HAIL             MONTICELLO              45.30N 93.80W
07/11/2016  M1.00 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            REPORTED AT INTERSECTION OF HWYS 94 AND 25.
            .

0848 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     5 WSW MONTICELLO        45.27N 93.89W
07/11/2016                   WRIGHT             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            REPORT OF FUNNEL CLOUD HALF WAY DOWN TO
            GROUND BETWEEN MAPLE LAKE AND MONTICELLO. .

0839 PM     HAIL             MAPLE LAKE              45.23N 94.00W
07/11/2016  M1.00 INCH       WRIGHT             MN   AMATEUR RADIO

            .

0836 PM     HEAVY RAIN       7 SE ONAMIA             45.99N 93.57W
07/11/2016  M4.28 INCH       MILLE LACS         MN   MESONET

            MESONET STATION ONAMIA 7SE /TS376/. RAINFALL
            PAST 12 HOURS. .

0800 PM     HEAVY RAIN       SAUK RAPIDS             45.60N 94.17W
07/11/2016  M5.00 INCH       BENTON             MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER. .

0800 PM     HEAVY RAIN       1 N SARTELL             45.64N 94.21W
07/11/2016  M5.50 INCH       STEARNS            MN   PUBLIC

            REPORTED VIA TWITTER. RAINFALL SINCE 7 AM. .

0722 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     RICHMOND                45.46N 94.52W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED .

0722 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     4 S ROSCOE              45.38N 94.64W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED BY EMERGENCY
            MANAGEMENT 4 MILES EAST OF PAYNESVILLE OVER
            RICE LAKE NEAR TRIPLE T RD. .

0703 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     3 ESE REGAL             45.39N 94.78W
07/11/2016                   KANDIYOHI          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TRAINED SPOTTER AT INTERSECTION OF HWY 4 AND
            55 JUST NW OF PAYNESVILLE REPORTED FUNNEL
            CLOUD. .

0625 PM     TORNADO          2 SSE PLEASANT LAKE     45.48N 94.28W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            TORNADO TOUCHDOWN REPORTED BY LAW
            ENFORCEMENT 3 MILES EAST OF ROCKVILLE .

1110 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 NNW ST. FRANCIS       45.39N 93.37W
07/11/2016                   ANOKA              MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            4" DIAMETER TREE LIMB DOWN. .

0555 PM     TORNADO          WATKINS                 45.31N 94.41W
07/11/2016                   MEEKER             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            SEVERAL REPORTS OF DAMAGE IN WATKINS,
            INCLUDING AT A MOBILE HOME PARK. PHOTOS OF
            DAMAGE RELAYED VIA TWITTER. .

0540 PM     TORNADO          2 NNW LITCHFIELD        45.15N 94.54W
07/11/2016                   MEEKER             MN   STORM CHASER

            ROPE TORNADO STILL ON GROUND. .

0533 PM     TORNADO          LITCHFIELD              45.12N 94.53W
07/11/2016                   MEEKER             MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            CONFIRMED TORNADO TOUCHDOWN BY LAW
            ENFORCEMENT AND TRAINED SPOTTER. DAMAGE
            REPORTED ON NORTHWEST SIDE OF LITCHFIELD
            NEAR INTERSECTION OF HWY 12 AND 24. .

0455 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     3 ESE SPENCER BROOK     45.50N 93.39W
07/11/2016                   ISANTI             MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER 7
            MILES NORTH OF ST. FRANCIS. .

0300 PM     HEAVY RAIN       BELGRADE                45.45N 95.00W
07/11/2016  M4.00 INCH       STEARNS            MN   FIRE DEPT/RESCUE

            4" OF RAIN MEASURED BY BELGRADE FIRE
            DEPARTMENT SINCE 8:40 AM. .

0230 PM     HAIL             MORA                    45.88N 93.29W
07/11/2016  M2.50 INCH       KANABEC            MN   PUBLIC

            PHOTO OF HAIL SHOWS 2.5 INCH DIAMETER STONE.
            REPORTED VIA TWITTER. .

0120 PM     HEAVY RAIN       ELROSA                  45.57N 94.95W
07/11/2016  M4.30 INCH       STEARNS            MN   PUBLIC

            TOTAL SO FAR TODAY. REPORTED VIA TWITTER. .

0115 PM     HAIL             3 SE ST. STEPHEN        45.68N 94.23W
07/11/2016  M1.00 INCH       STEARNS            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF QUARTERS REPORTED 5
            MILES SOUTH OF RICE. .

0115 PM     HEAVY RAIN       3 SE ST. STEPHEN        45.68N 94.23W
07/11/2016  E4.00 INCH       STEARNS            MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            WATER IN DITCHES. RAINFALL TOTAL SO FAR
            TODAY.

1115 PM     HEAVY RAIN       1 NNW ST. FRANCIS       45.39N 93.37W
07/11/2016  E3.00 INCH       ANOKA              MN   COCORAHS

            OCCURRED WITHIN 1 HOUR.

0955 PM     HEAVY RAIN       7 NNE GRANITE LEDGE     45.91N 93.83W
07/11/2016  M4.77 INCH       MORRISON           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            24 HOUR RAINFALL TOTAL. MEASURED 8 MILES SSE
            OF HILLMAN. .

0616 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     ROCKVILLE               45.48N 94.34W
07/11/2016                   STEARNS            MN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED NEAR ROCKVILLE BY LAW
            ENFORCEMENT.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
429 PM CDT TUE JUL 12 2016

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0222 PM     HEAVY RAIN       BREEZY POINT            46.60N 94.22W
07/12/2016  M10.30 INCH      CROW WING          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1028 AM CDT TUE JUL 12 2016

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0800 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 SE FINLAYSON          46.17N 92.89W
07/12/2016  E9.00 INCH       PINE               MN   PUBLIC

            THIS IS A 36 HOUR RAINFALL REPORT AND ALSO
            INCLUDES RAIN THAT FELL EARLY MONDAY THROUGH
            EARLY TUESDAY.

0800 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 SE MALMO              46.32N 93.50W
07/12/2016  M5.03 INCH       AITKIN             MN   CO-OP OBSERVER

            . THE DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS
            24 HOURS.

0653 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 SW ASHLAND            46.55N 90.92W
07/12/2016  M5.20 INCH       ASHLAND            WI   ASOS

            ASOS STATION ASHLAND AIRPORT /ASX/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0653 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 WNW WOODROW           46.40N 94.13W
07/12/2016  M5.11 INCH       CROW WING          MN   ASOS

            ASOS STATION BRAINERD AIRPORT /BRD/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0656 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 S GRAND MARAIS        47.75N 90.34W
07/12/2016  M2.02 INCH       COOK               MN   ASOS

            ASOS STATION THE BAY OF GRAND MARAIS /GNA/.
            THE DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0653 AM     HEAVY RAIN       5 E HIBBING             47.39N 92.84W
07/12/2016  M0.64 INCH       ST. LOUIS          MN   ASOS

            ASOS STATION CHISHOLM-HIBBING AIRPORT /HIB/.
            THE DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0653 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 ENE HAYWARD           46.03N 91.44W
07/12/2016  M5.75 INCH       SAWYER             WI   ASOS

            ASOS STATION HAYWARD AIRPORT /HYR/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0655 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 S INTERNATIONAL FALLS 48.57N 93.40W
07/12/2016  M0.01 INCH       KOOCHICHING        MN   ASOS

            ASOS STATION INTERNATIONAL FALLS /INL/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0653 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 SE EVELETH            47.42N 92.50W
07/12/2016  M0.89 INCH       ST. LOUIS          MN   AWOS

            AWOS STATION EVELETH-VIRGINIA AIRPORT /EVM/.
            THE DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0655 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 NW PHILLIPS           45.71N 90.42W
07/12/2016  M0.73 INCH       PRICE              WI   AWOS

            AWOS STATION PHILLIPS /PBH/. THE DURATION OF
            THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24 HOURS.

0655 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 WSW SUPERIOR          46.69N 92.09W
07/12/2016  M2.91 INCH       DOUGLAS            WI   AWOS

            AWOS STATION SUPERIOR AIRPORT /SUW/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0655 AM     HEAVY RAIN       6 NNW WALKER            47.16N 94.65W
07/12/2016  M0.47 INCH       CASS               MN   AWOS

            AWOS STATION WALKER AIRPORT /Y49/. THE
            DURATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN EVENT WAS 24
            HOURS.

0124 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 NE HERMANTOWN         46.84N 92.21W
07/12/2016  U2.27 INCH       ST. LOUIS          MN   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

0500 AM     HEAVY RAIN       BARNUM                  46.50N 92.69W
07/12/2016  E5.30 INCH       CARLTON            MN   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. REPORT RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       WASCOTT                 46.17N 91.80W
07/12/2016  E10.00 INCH      DOUGLAS            WI   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       TOWER                   47.81N 92.29W
07/12/2016  E3.00 INCH       ST. LOUIS          MN   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. REPORT RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.


0318 AM     FLASH FLOOD      6 N DADS CORNER         46.42N 93.26W
07/12/2016                   AITKIN             MN   DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

            TRAVEL NOT ADVISED ON MN HIGHWAY 65 BETWEEN
            180TH STREET (NEAR MCGRATH) AND 360TH STREET
            (2 MILES SOUTH OF MCGREGOR).

0500 AM     HEAVY RAIN       BARNUM                  46.50N 92.69W
07/12/2016  E5.30 INCH       CARLTON            MN   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. REPORT RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       WASCOTT                 46.17N 91.80W
07/12/2016  E10.00 INCH      DOUGLAS            WI   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       TOWER                   47.81N 92.29W
07/12/2016  E3.00 INCH       ST. LOUIS          MN   PUBLIC

            24 HOUR STORM TOTAL. REPORT RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0645 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 WSW SAXON             46.49N 90.44W
07/12/2016  M9.65 INCH       IRON               WI   CO-OP OBSERVER

0809 PM     FLASH FLOOD      6 SSE BRUNO             46.20N 92.62W
07/11/2016                   PINE               MN   PUBLIC

            PICTURE ON SOCIAL MEDIA OF A FLOODED ROADWAY
            IN FLEMING TOWNSHIP. UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME
            ON THE EXACT ROADWAY FLOODED. THIS IS A
            LOCATION CORRECTION TO PREVIOUS STORM REPORT
            AT 5 ESE WALDECK.

0715 PM     FLASH FLOOD      3 E EAST GULL LAKE      46.41N 94.29W
07/11/2016                   CROW WING          MN   911 CALL CENTER

            ROADWAY COVERED WITH WATER AT THE INTERSECTION OF 371 AND
            BIRCHDALE.

0715 PM     FLASH FLOOD      BAXTER                  46.34N 94.28W
07/11/2016                   CROW WING          MN   911 CALL CENTER

            1 FOOT OF WATER ON ROADWAYS IN THE INDUSTRIAL PARK AREA
            IN BAXTER. ALSO HAVE REPORTS OF WATER COVERING THE
            ROADWAY ON HIGHWAY 371 IN BAXTER.

0704 PM     HEAVY RAIN       BARNES                  46.40N 91.50W
07/11/2016  M4.50 INCH       BAYFIELD           MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            RAIN FELL BETWEEN 1700 AND 1900. 2 HOUR PERIOD.

0626 PM     FLASH FLOOD      1 S CROSBY              46.48N 93.95W
07/11/2016                   CROW WING          MN   PUBLIC

            FLOODING IS REPORTED IN CROSBY.

0530 PM     FLASH FLOOD      2 SE AITKIN             46.51N 93.69W
07/11/2016                   AITKIN             MN   911 CALL CENTER

            10 TO 12 INCHES OF WATER OVER ROADWAY AT INTERSECTION OF
            344TH STREET AND COUNTY ROAD 12 IN NORDLAND TOWNSHIP. A
            CAR WAS REPORTED BEING PUSHED BY THE WATER ON THE
            ROADWAY.

0530 PM     FLASH FLOOD      SW KIMBERLY             46.56N 93.47W
07/11/2016                   AITKIN             MN   911 CALL CENTER

            10 TO 12 INCHES OF WATER ON ROADWAY AT THE INTERSECTION
            OF COUNTY ROAD 5 AND RICE RIVER CROSSING. WATER FLOWING
            OVER THE ROADWAY.

0530 PM     FLASH FLOOD      4 SSE RICE LAKE WILDLIF 46.48N 93.28W
07/11/2016                   AITKIN             MN   911 CALL CENTER

            10 TO 12 INCHES OF WATER OVER ROADWAY AT CROSSING OF RICE
            RIVER AND COUNTY ROAD 4 IN RICE RIVER TOWNSHIP.

0420 PM     HEAVY RAIN       2 NNE BRAINERD          46.38N 94.18W
07/11/2016  M3.75 INCH       CROW WING          MN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL PRECIPITATION SINCE MIDNIGHT. STILL RAINING AT THE
            TIME OF THE REPORT.

0317 PM     TSTM WND DMG     SANDSTONE               46.13N 92.86W
07/11/2016                   PINE               MN   911 CALL CENTER

            TREES DOWNED IN SANDSTONE WHICH BROUGHT POWER LINES DOWN.
            TIME ESTIMATED BY RADAR

Last modified: September 23, 2016
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