A strong area of low pressure moved out of Colorado and intensified rapidly over Iowa and Wisconsin on Wednesday, bringing numerous rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall to the Twin Cities and much of southern Minnesota. In Iowa, a severe weather outbreak brought tornadoes and reports of damage to the Des Moines area; this is only the ninth known November tornado outbreak in Iowa since 1950.
By late evening, the thunderstorms ended and gave way to steady rain and increasing winds, which lasted into the morning hours of Thursday the 12th, producing totals exceeding two inches in many locations. MSP's daily total of 1.73" on the 11th is the fifth largest daily value for November, going back to 1871.
The period between November 9th and 12th has been a remarkably active one for the region, and has some of our most notorious systems, including, the infamous Armistice Day Storm, the tragic storm that wrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald, and what had been a record-breaking storm in 1998.*
*The November 1998 storm had set Minnesota's record for low pressure, but that record was shattered on October 26, 2010.