Don’t Let Severe Weather Take You By Surprise!

This week was Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is important to be prepared for thunderstorms as we move into the late Spring and Summer.  To be prepared you should have a plan in the event of severe weather.  For example, where are the safer places in your home/your community? Do you have someone outside your community for everyone in your family to contact should you get separated?  Do you have multiple ways to know if there are weather warnings in effect for your area? Remember, don’t rely on sirens if indoors.  Sirens are meant for those close enough to hear them while outdoors however they can still fail to sound due to mechanical or other issues (such as prior lightning strike).

Besides a safety plan of action, it is important to have your severe weather preparedness kit ready for the season ahead. Here are some things you should include:

Severe Weather Preparedness Kit:

  • NOAA Weather Radio (Get a radio with S.A.M.E. technology to only alert for the local county or counties of your choice. I recommend the Midland WR-120 or WR-300.)
  • Battery operated radio (If power goes out for an extended period of time this is very important.)
  • Flashlight (Do NOT use candles as these can lead to a fires.)
  • Spare batteries
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle
  • Cash
  • Baby food/supplies (if necessary)
  • Pet food/supplies (if necessary)

Here’s more on building your safety kit from FEMA.

FEMA also has more on their Be Ready website on how to prepare for disasters of all types.

If you have questions about preparing for severe weather season, your preparedness kit or any other weather question send Elise an email at elise [at] treasuredhavenfarm [dot] com.

Stay safe this severe weather season!  Follow the Storm Prediction Center for severe weather outlooks and your local National Weather Service office for your daily forecasts and warnings in the case of severe weather.

2011 Minnesota and Wisconsin Severe Weather Awareness Week

This week is Severe Weather Awareness week in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Each day of the week focuses on a specific severe weather topic.

Monday, April 11th – Thunderstorms, Hail, Wind and Lightning

Tuesday, April 12th – Severe Weather Watches and Warnings, and How to Receive Severe Weather Information

Wednesday, April 13th – Flash Floods

Thursday, April 14th – Tornado Safety Information

Friday, April 15th – Heat Waves

Take this week as an opportunity to discuss your severe weather plan with your family so you are prepared from what Mother Nature may bring your way.

March 14-18 is Flood Safety Awareness Week

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

This week is flood safety awareness week around the country and it is very timely here in Minnesota.  The National Weather Service has already issued river forecasts for some rivers in Minnesota and are monitoring others at this time.   If you live in a flood prone area, please stay informed by information from the National Weather Service (click here to see the NWS Upper Midwest Spring Flood Monitor) and your local media.   Finally, never drive into flooded roadways! You never known how much the road has been washed out.  It only takes 6 inches of moving water to sweep your vehicle off the road.  Stay safe out there!

On a brighter note, ENJOY the warmer temperatures!


Snow totals from Feb 20-21 storm

We received a total 10.5″ of snow at the farm over the last couple of days during this past snowstorm.  Pete measures and reports his snowfall amounts to the National Weather Service as well as to the Cocorahs network.  This event set the most snowfall for a single storm in the month of February in the Twin Cities. (read more)  Below is two images of the snowfall totals created via a NWS application that ingests Cocorahs data.  The first is centered on the Twin Cities and includes most of Minnesota into Wisconsin.  A clear area of higher amounts is visible across the middle portions of the state right through the metro.

This second image (over the same 72 hr time period) shows the band of heavy snow extending from western South Dakota through Minnesota and Wisconsin to Lake Michigan!

Interested in a storm spotter class this spring?

If so, check out the SKYWARN spotter training class closest to you this spring! A complete list of classes held around the metro can be found courtesy of the Twin Cities NWS.  These classes are a great opportunity to learn more about thunderstorms and what is considered “severe weather”.  After you’ve taken a class, if you wish, you can join the NWS espotter network to report severe weather.  It is extremely useful to NWS forecasters during severe weather situations to have trained spotters giving accurate real-time reports.

Snow starting to melt!

The Green Bay NWS posted this nice animation of the serious snow melt from Thursday through this morning. Temperatures should get into the 40s over the next couple of days so look for more of the snow to melt! Don’t get fooled though, temperatures look to dip back into the single digits for lows this weekend as a cold front pushes through the region.

Cold Air Persists – Wind Chill Advisory Continues

If you would like to calculate the wind chill or the temperature that it feels like outside with the temperature and wind taken into account, you can use the chart below to give yourself an idea how cold and dangerous it is outside.   Check out the NWS Wind Chill brochure to learn more.

248 PM CST TUE FEB 8 2011


Spring Flooding Outlook for Upper Midwest

Every time we step outside, the white landscape is a constant reminder of the amount of snow and, thus, amount of moisture that is waiting to flow into rivers and streams when the weather finally turns warm this spring. The above normal snowfall early this winter combined with above normal rainfall early last fall has led to the National Weather Service declaring the potential for significant flooding in the Upper Midwest this spring.  Check out the National Weather Service – Twin Cities and the North Central River Forecast Center for more information and remember if you encounter a flooded roadway, TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN!

Percent Chance of Minor Flooding from January 31, 2011 to May 1, 2011

Tornado near Treasured Haven Farm on 17 June 2010

On June 17, 2010, Minnesota experienced a severe weather outbreak including numerous reports of hail, wind, and greater than 20 tornadoes. A complete overview of the outbreak can be found on the National Weather Service (NWS) in the Twin Cities website.  One of the 20+ tornadoes moved through portions of Treasured Haven Farm while in its initial stages of development.  The damage track surveyed by the NWS-Duluth is shown below.

Damage track for the tornado that traveled through Chisago, Pine, and Burnett Counties on 17 June 2010. Image from the NWS-Duluth.

The farm is located just east of the arrow in the bottom left of the image.  A wide path of weak EF-0/cyclonic wind damage spread from just north of Rush City through the farm and off to the northeast where the storm intensified in EF1 and EF2 strength. (See Enhanced Fujita Scale for more information on tornado strength.)  Pete, Peg, Zach, and Ike watched the funnel travel just east of the farm.   Most of the area the storm crossed was state forest.  Unfortunately, the tornado hit a mobile home as well as damaged many other homes along MN-70 just west of the MN/WI border which lead to the EF-2 damage rating.  A few injuries were reported in this location but it was reported they would recover.   An overview of this tornado from the NWS-Duluth.

This was the 3rd funnel or tornado to come within a mile of the farm in the past 10 years.

  • On June 18, 2001, we watched a funnel go directly overhead.  This later became the F-3 tornado that struck Siren, WI. Here a storm summary from the NWS-Duluth and satellite images showing the scar from the tornado from Environmental Remote Sensing at the Space Science & Engineering Center  at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • On June 11, 2005, Pete, Peg, Zach, and Ike again watched a tornado move through the east side of the farm.  This F0 damaged only a few trees.  Below is a picture Peg took of the tornado.

At least the weather has now settled down for a couple of days.  We wish the best to those that suffered damage in all the recent storms throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.  We hope they are able to recover and rebuild and that their lives will soon return to normal.

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