NWS Confirms EF-1 Tornado Ripped Through Forest Lake Area

July 13, 2017 08:21 AM

After surveying reported damage from Wednesday's early morning storms, the National Weather Service confirms an EF-1 tornado ripped through the area.

The tornado traveled through the Columbus and Forest Lake area, reaching estimated peak winds of 90 miles per hour, traveling 8.8 miles. Its path width reached a maximum of 300 yards, NWS said in its preliminary report. 


The tornado was on the ground for approximately eight minutes, starting at 2:28 a.m. 

According to NWS, damage caused a garage to collapse and destroyed some buildings. Most of the damage was to trees. 

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The thunderstorms started with "damaging straight line winds," traveling through Anoka and northern Washington counties to northwest St. Croix and southwest Polk counties in Wisconsin, NWS said.

"Within the broad swath of damaging winds, a concentrated path of stronger damage was found in the Forest Lake area that was determined to be associated with a tornado," NWS reports.

RELATED: Columbia Heights Residents Dealing with Cleanup after Morning Storms


Thursday weather is a quick reprieve from a hot and humid summer stretch. KSTP's Chief Morning Meteorologist Ken Barlow said Minnesota might not see its high of 78 degrees today. 

Clouds and sprinkles should accompany the cool weather Thursday. 

This weekend is supposed to return to the 90s and should stick around until Tuesday. A chance of an isolated thunderstorm is possible Saturday afternoon. 

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Theresa Malloy

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