Historic Duluth Flooding

Duluth Tunnel Flooding. Photo: @dchura

My heart goes out to those in Duluth.  They are experiencing the worst flooding in 40 years.  In three days, from June 17 to June 19, a total of 8 to 10 inches of rain feel across northeastern MN.  This amount of rain wreaked havoc on area rivers and caused tremendous damage to roads.

One of many sinkholes. Photo: Homeland Security Emergency Management

Sadly, the Miller Creek flooded the Lake Superior Zoo, drowning nearly a dozen animals including the beloved donkey, Ashley.  During the flooding, the polar bear, Berlin, escaped but was quickly found, tranquilized, and returned to safety.  A pair of seals also escaped and were found flailing around on Grand Avenue.  They too were retrieved and are doing just fine.

Feisty, the seal, making a break for it. Photo: Ellie Burcar

On Tuesday June 19th, a slow moving warm front started to drift from the Twin Cities to Duluth.  This front allowed for continuous thunderstorms to form over the same spots in northern Minnesota.  The warm front was easily seen on radar moving through the metro.

Position of warm front Tuesday afternoon

The surface map above shows the warm front moving through the Twin Cities Tuesday.  Where the warm front had yet to move through, the temperatures were in the 60s. For example, the temperature ahead of the warm front in St. Cloud was 68° early Tuesday afternoon.  Areas passed the front were immersed in the warm, humid air with temps well into the 80s.  Mankato, for example, was at 84 degrees.
This is the same front the basically stalled just south of Duluth and helped to produced 9 inches.  Two Harbors reported the most rain with 9.93 inches.
On a brighter note, summer has officially begun!  The summer solstice was at exactly 6:09 pm on Wednesday.  That is when the sun was at it’s highest latitude position in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.  Wednesday was the longest day of the year when you count by daylight hours.
Friday: Partly sunny. Light NW breeze. H: near 80°
Saturday: Increasing clouds.  Showers and thunderstorms later in the afternoon. H: low 80s
Sunday: Morning rain, then decreasing clouds to a partly cloudy afternoon. H: low 80s
Monday-Wednesday:  Really nice.  These dry days will really help to dry out the area trails. H: around 80°

One thought on “Historic Duluth Flooding

  1. OH> its august. 3 more Murphy time trials Kristin…11 mile single track loop in Savage. Wed’s at 630. You like mtn biking right…??

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