Instant July: Hot front & 1st 90F tomorrow; Ice crushes lake homes in Manitoba

Instant Summer

“May you live in interesting times.”

That old saying is thought to be a Chinese curse. You have to wonder if somebody uttered it regarding Minnesota’s weather a few months back.

Our late winter attack is the gift that just keeps on giving.

An “Ice-Tsunami” in Lake Mille Lacs in May? At this rate the NWS is going to need a whole new category of severe weather warnings.

“Damaging Lake Ice Invasion Warning” in effect today?

Still it could have been much worse, and it was along the southern shores of Dauphin Lake west of Winnipeg, Manitoba where a 27 foot wall of ice crushed 20 lake homes. Details below.

Today we look at ice…and fire as a hot front blows in tomorrow with the 1st 90s of the season in Minnesota.

Can severe weather be far behind?

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Mille Lacs Ice Invasion:

It’s worth another look.

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This is the most dramatic ice invasion anyone in these parts can remember on MIlle Lacs.

What just happened?

Saturday’s sustained winds and gusts to over 30 mph exerted tremendous force on the ice on Mille Lacs. As the giant ice sheet moved ashore, the pressure shoved the fractured ice ashore, and the unstoppable glacial mass moved easily over relatively flat shoreline consuming everything in its path.

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Image: Dawn H. via KARE 11

Sunday’s NASA MODIS Terra shot shows how the strong NW winds pushed the ice on Red & Lake of the Woods southeast, with open water on the northwest shores.

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Dauphin Lake Manitoba: Major damage

The ice avalanche was much worse west of Winnipeg Manitoba.

As many as 20 homes & cabins were damaged or destroyed there…literally crushed or ripped from foundations as an immense 27 foot high wall of ice grinded ashore Friday night. Details from the Winnipeg Free Press.

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Image credit: Cade Malone via Winnipeg Free Press


A local state of emergency has been declared in a western Manitoba municipality after homes in Ochre Beach were destroyed and seriously damaged by a wave of lake ice.

Area officials told CBC News the wind pushed built-up ice off Dauphin Lake on Friday evening and caused it to pile up in the community, located on the lake’s southern shore.

The piles of ice, which were more than nine metres tall in some cases, destroyed at least six homes and cottages, according to the Rural Municipality of Ochre River.

Another 14 homes suffered extensive damage, with some structures knocked off their foundations.

Clayton Watts, Ochre River’s deputy reeve, said it’s a miracle no one was hurt.

He told CBC News one minute people were watching hockey in their living rooms, the next they heard something that sounded like a freight train near their homes.

“It happened so quick,” said Watts. “And you can’t predict it — not like water that slowly comes up.”

Watts said there are several cabins that were completely flattened by the wall of ice that came at them.

“The ice is over top of them, they’ve been crushed, there’s nothing left,” he said.

“There are other cabins that have been knocked right off their footings,” he continued. “There’s ice right over top of some of the cabins, coming over the roof on the other side.”

According to Environment Canada winds were registered at about 80 km/h in the area Friday night.

Hot Front Ahead: Instant July Tuesday

From heat to AC in 36 hours?

Welcome to “Extreme Minnesota.”

Those southerly winds you feel today are ejecting the weekend’s cooler air mass to the north. Hotter, drier desert like ari mass blows in Tuesday…with highs in the 90s.

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A “Fire Weather Watch” Tuesday means any fires that start could rapidly spead…fanned by the tinder dry air mass and high winds.

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URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

511 AM CDT MON MAY 13 2013

…FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL INTO SOUTH CENTRAL

MINNESOTA TUESDAY AFTERNOON INTO TUESDAY EVENING…

HOT AND BREEZY WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL ARRIVE ON TUESDAY… WITH TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO REACH THE MIDDLE 80S TO MIDDLE 90S. SOUTHWEST TO WEST WINDS FROM 15 TO 25 MPH ARE FORECAST ALONG WITH MINIMUM RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES NEAR 20 PERCENT. THIS MAY RESULT IN DANGEROUS WILDFIRE CONDITIONS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING ACROSS MUCH OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ALEXANDRIA…LONG PRAIRIE…

LITTLE FALLS…PRINCETON…MORA…MORRIS…GLENWOOD…ST. CLOUD…

FOLEY…ELK RIVER…CAMBRIDGE…CENTER CITY…MADISON…BENSON…

MONTEVIDEO…WILLMAR…LITCHFIELD…MONTICELLO…MINNEAPOLIS…

BLAINE…ST. PAUL…STILLWATER…GRANITE FALLS…OLIVIA…

HUTCHINSON…GAYLORD…CHASKA…SHAKOPEE…BURNSVILLE…

REDWOOD FALLS…NEW ULM…ST. PETER…LE SUEUR…FARIBAULT…

ST. JAMES…MANKATO…WASECA…OWATONNA…FAIRMONT…BLUE EARTH…ALBERT LEA

511 AM CDT MON MAY 13 2013

…FIRE WEATHER WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON

THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING FOR WIND AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

* WINDS…SOUTHWEST TO WEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH… WITH GUSTS UP TO

35 MPH.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 20 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS…WILDFIRES COULD BECOME FAST MOVING IN A SHORT PERIOD

OF TIME DUE TO THE STRONG WINDS…LOW HUMIDITY AND DRY FUELS.

1-Day Heat Wave:

Temps will soar into the lower 90s Tuesday afternoon. A fresh northwest breeze provides free AC as cool into the upper 70s the rest of this week. That’s my kind of cool front!

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Stormy next weekend?

The next slow moving low pressure system crawls through Minnesota next weekend (perfect timing) with scattered (soaking?) rain and thunder…and maybe our 1st severe weather of the season.

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Right now SPC keeps most of the severe risk south of Minnesota this weekend, but that may change this week.

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Paul Huttner

  • Bruce

    The link about Dauphin Lake was from the CBC, not Winnipeg Free Press.

  • Martin Farrow

    Paul, first off – thank you for your blog and insights!

    I am a certified weather spotter with skywarn and NWS; and have become the designated weather watcher at my company. The policy was recently written to define severe weather as tornado in nature; but we all know that severe weather also includes straight line winds.

    I recall somewhere that straight line winds are more frequent, and can cause more fatalities and economic impact than tornadoes. Am I miss-guided?

    Do you have some documentation comparing tornatic vs straight-line events (and may also be specific to hennapin country)

    Thank you in advance.