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Late Friday afternoon, July 1, a line of severe thunderstorms hit St. Cloud, Minn., and surrounding communities with heavy rain, large hail, and near-hurricane-force downburst winds of 65 to 70 miles an hour toppling hundreds of trees, some of which landed on buildings and vehicles.

The National Weather Service reported that a weak tornado (EF0) briefly touched down on the west side of the St. Cloud metro at about 6:25 p.m.  The 30-yard-wide twister touched down just north of the I-94 and Minnesota Highway 23 junction and moved northeast for about 2.3 miles before dissipating in Waite Park, about a mile and a half west of the intersection Highways 23 and 15.

Photo chronicle

Click on photos for larger image

Downed tree in Hester Park, adjacent to St. Cloud Hospital (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
Downed tree in Hester Park, adjacent to St. Cloud Hospital

Tree on home near St. Cloud Hospital (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
Tree on home near St. Cloud Hospital (side view from west)

Tree on home near St. Cloud Hospital (front view from south)
Tree on home near St. Cloud Hospital (front view from south)

Downed trees in Hester Park (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
Downed trees in Hester Park

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis surveys storm damage in Hester Park (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis surveys storm damage in Hester Park

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis inspects storm damage in Hester Park (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis inspects storm damage in Hester Park

Street flooding in Sartell, north of St. Cloud (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)
Street flooding in Sartell, north of St. Cloud

Click on photos for larger image

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Update: National Weather Service storm report

Tornado in Waite Park and a Downburst in St. Cloud

The National Weather Service assessed the damage caused by the storms Friday evening, July 1, [2011] in eastern Stearns County, including the cities of Waite Park and St. Cloud.

Tornado location: The tornado touched down just northeast of the intersection of Interstate 94 and Highway 23. It moved northeast and dissipated in Waite Park, about 1.5 mile west of the intersection of Highways 15 and 23.

Path length: 2.3 miles.

Maximum wind speed: About 65 mph.

Maximum width: Approximately 30 yards.

Tornado damage: Dozens of trees were broken or toppled as it moved northeast. It did not appear that the tornado was continuously on the ground but there were five distinct locations of convergent damage along its path.

Timing: It appears to have touched down at about 6:23 pm and dissipated at about 6:26 pm. This is estimated based on radar.

Downburst location: Most damage was north of downtown St. Cloud and was spread over several square miles. It extended into Benton County.

Downburst maximum wind speed: 65 to 70 mph.

Downburst damage: Hundreds of trees were toppled, broken, or pushed over. Many trees landed on houses, sheds, and vehicles. The downburst damage was far more widespread and significant than the tornado damage.

Downburst notes: It is likely that the downburst lasted for many minutes in some areas.

Other damage: There was sporadic tree damage from Rockville to St Cloud. This was much less concentrated than the Waite Park tornado damage or the St. Cloud downburst damage.

The National Weather Service would like to thank Skywarn storm spotters, law enforcement, and media who provided or relayed critical reports to the National Weather Service in real time. A special thank you is given to Stearns County Emergency Management for assisting in the damage survey.

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Related reports on this site


Everett Balko observes damage from strong storms near Little Rock Lake. (Photo credit: Dave Schwarz / St. Cloud Times)

Weather Conditions in Minnesota (May 24, 2011)

North Minneapolis Tornado (May 22, 2011)

Severe Storm Hits Sartell and Rice, Minnesota (Aug. 14, 2010)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — July 3, 2010

Wetterling Suspect Dan Rassier


Jared S., Jacob Wetterling, and Joshua Guimond

One year ago today, I reported that Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner described music teacher Dan Rassier as a “person of interest” in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling at the end of the Rassier driveway on Oct. 22, 1989. In that regard, I discussed aspects of criminal motive and the likely offender profile, noting the need for a linkage analysis involving the unsolved kidnapping and sexual assault of Jared S. in nearby Cold Spring and the unexplained disappearance of Joshua Guimond from a college campus in close proximity to the two abduction sites.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — July 3, 2009

Sarah Palin Personality Profile


Click image for larger view

Two years ago today, on the occasion of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s sudden resignation from office on July 3, 2009, I featured my research on Palin’s personal psychology, conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics.

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2 Responses to “Severe Storm Hits St. Cloud, Minn.”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Severe Storm Hits Sartell Area Says:

    [...] Severe Storm Hits St. Cloud, Minnesota (July 3, 2011) [...]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » North Minneapolis Tornado Says:

    [...] Severe Storm Hits St. Cloud, Minnesota (July 3, 2011) [...]

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