Damage in southern Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A line of storms brought strong winds to southern Minnesota. In Dodge County, the sheriff is reporting multiple trees and power lines down. Thursday evening, Xcel reported more than 3,500 customers are without power in the county.
Further south, a bank strong winds damaged a bank, sending part of the brick roof to the ground. Fire crews were on scene for the incident, but it's not clear how serious the damage to the structure was. Other homes and buildings in the area also saw wind damage.
In Winona County, the sheriff was warning residents to stay home, if possible, saying storms had left trees and power lines down and had damaged and destroyed homes.
In Red Wing, a video from Bill Hanisch shows an awning being snapped off a building downtown. A witness in Hartland said strong winds pushed through the area, knocking down trees before hitting the bank.
Statewide, there were more than 10,000 people without power shortly after the storms went through, according to Xcel.
Reported tornado in Plainview, Minn.
Around 8:19 p.m., the National Weather Service reported a tornado in Plainview, Minnesota, northeast of Rochester and not far from the state border with Wisconsin.
If confirmed, it would be the first time in history that a tornado has been reported in Minnesota in December. Since that time, the tornado warning has expired in the area and the tornado watch has been canceled for most areas in Minnesota.
Powerful wind gusts overnight
Once the storms roll through, expect powerful, straight-line wind gusts for several hours through the night. A high wind warning has been issued for the central and southern Minnesota tonight, including the Twin Cities metro, as wind gusts from 40-60 mph are likely through the night.
"Wind Stamina" will be the prime concern for branches, trees, outside decorations, trash cans and more—just make sure anything left outside is secure.
Here is a one-line primer for your Wednesday: fog/drizzle, wind, strong winds, record high temperatures, rain/thunderstorms, snow…oh my. Stay sky aware for strong winds, record high temperatures and thunderstorms!
Record high temperature
The Twin Cities recorded a record high temperature at 2 p.m. Wednesday, hitting 52 at MSP Airport. That breaks the record of 51 set in 2014. Snowpack at the airport dropped from 8 inches to just a trace over the course of the day.
Midwest storms: Where this storm came from
We have been watching this storm since it came out of Colorado and pushed across Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa on its way to Minnesota.
Wind gusts in excess of 100 mph were reported in parts of Colorado. This video, taken in Lamar, Colorado, where wind gusts of 107 mph were reported, shows flying dust and debris drastically reducing visibility.
Damaging winds caused power outages, flight cancellations, and highway closures in parts of western Kansas. Video from south of Garden City shows high winds blowing debris across a field.
Wind impacts at MSP Airport
Strong winds may result in the Federal Aviation Administration having to use less common runway configurations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Air Traffic Controllers assign landing and departing aircraft to runways that provide the greatest amount of headwind, especially when wind speed exceeds 10 miles per hour. The parallel runways (Runways 12L/30R and 12R/30L) are used most often at MSP. But with forecasted sustained wind speed above 35 miles per hour and forecasted gusts up to 60 miles per hour, arriving and departing aircraft may be directed to use Runway 4/22 (the crosswind runway).
Residents near the airport may notice unusual flight patterns when the parallel runways are not in use.