It's been no secret that Wednesday has been a windy day, causing downed trees, power outages, and lakeshore flooding along Lake Superior. The reason for these powerful winds is a strong low pressure center that is currently moving through southeastern Minnesota into Wisconsin. This tightly-wound system is pulling wind gusts across Lake Superior, battering the Lake Superior shoreline with upwards of 18-foot waves.

One report has shown wind gusts in the Duluth Harbor reaching 64 mph, while other wind stations around the Twin Ports and surrounding areas late this morning and this afternoon have shown wind speeds as follows:

Additionally, the Minnesota State Climatology Office is reporting a ship parked near Duluth on Lake Superior (the CSL Assiniboine) experiencing 2-minute sustained winds of 64 mph on Wednesday with nearly 20 foot waves.

The most impressive statistic about this storm is a recorded 86 mph wind gust captured by a freighter on Lake Superior near Castle Danger. As the National Weather Service points out, this wind gust is above the 74 mph threshold of hurricane-force winds. While these wind speeds are not being sustained, that is still a measure of how powerful some of these gusts during this storm on the lake can be.

The rainfall combined with strong northeast winds pushing water into the Duluth Harbor have led to a rise in harbor water levels by roughly a foot from what it was Tuesday. These high water levels and the waves are the combined reason for flooding and damage along parts of the harbor and Lake Superior shoreline.


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