Minnesota weather is part of daily life, and it brings with it many “extremes.” This collection presents some of those…from the floods of the Red River Valley, the blowdown in the BWCA, the Halloween Blizzard, to the devasting tornado in St. Peter. But were a state of many meteorological dimensions, not just tornadoes and blizzards. Below are memories of oppressive drought, the creep of flood waters, nature driven fire, and those glorious 50-degree December day anomalies. While these stories may attempt to explain the why, where, and what of various weather events, what is striking is the undeniable power of the human experience in the face of it all.
May 30, 1974 - MPR’s Greg Barron presents an introduction to the history of thunderstorm and tornadoes in Minnesota. Barron interviews numerous officials from the National Weather Service about 1970s era forecasting.
January 10, 1975 - MPR’s Kim Hodgson reports from Worthington as a blizzard begins to wreak havoc on the area. The positive is that the snow brings much needed moisture; the negative is more literal…a minus 27-degree wind-chill.
January 13, 1975 - MPR’s Steve Monroe reports on blizzard’s aftermath in Worthington, Minnesota. This includes an interview with young entrepreneur Steve Erebus, who is dealing with damaged greenhouses that contained orchids.
March 28, 1975 - MPR’s Steve Monroe reports on numerous towers toppled in southwestern Minnesota by winter storms, including the KRSW 700 ft broadcast tower. A combination of freezing rain and high winds were too much for numerous radio and TV towers in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.
August 31, 1976 - Midday presents a special report on the drought in the southwestern Minnesota. Report provides speeches, interviews, and commentary from climatologists, scientists, government officials, and residents as they respond to the crisis. Topics include climate change and cloud seeding.
July 1, 1978 - MPR’s Rich Dietman interviews local sheriff about flash flooding after rain event. The water threatened small town of Elba and campers at Whitewater state park.
July 5, 1978 - MPR’s John Ydstie walks through the town of Gary, Minnesota after a tornado demolished much of the town. Ydstie interviews numerous residents as they work to recover and clean-up.
July 6, 1978 - MPR’s Gary Eichten checks in with regional reporters on the historic flooding that hit the city of Rochester. After torrential rain, the Zumbro River overflowed and is causing extensive damage to area.
June 16, 1979 - MPR’s reports on situation in western area of the Twin Cities after a large thunderstorm passed over the area. Olson describes downed trees, overturned boats, fires, and power outages in the west metro.
June 20, 1979 - MPR’s Tom Meersman gives an audio assesment of the damage in south Minneapolis after a severe storm went throught the area on June 19th. Meersman describes broken glass and downed trees.