A steamy day gave way to a stormy night across much of Minnesota on Sunday with reports of torrential rain, hail and wind gusts of as high as 80 miles per hour in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

The Twin Cities area received the last of the severe blast during an evening of watches and warnings that began with reports of funnel clouds in western Minnesota and ended with storms making their way into the metro area before 11 p.m.

Trees were down in the Brainerd area, and a barn destroyed in northern Todd County, National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Hiltbrand said.

There also were reports of damage at Brainerd International Raceway.

In the Twin Cities area, Lakeville was among locations reporting house fires due to lightning strikes.

Monday could see a return of toasty conditions, but not the same thick stew that saw the heat index hit 100 twice before 6 p.m. Sunday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Hiltbrand said temperatures could reach the upper 80s again, but the heat index should remain in the lower 90s.

On Sunday, from Detroit Lakes to Target Field, temperatures were well into the 80s and 90s, and when combined with muggy conditions, sent the heat index into triple-digits in Montevideo (110), Appleton (109) and St. James (108), too.

Just before 6 p.m., storms picked up in western Minnesota, spawning funnel clouds near Fergus Falls. Tornado warnings were issued, and as the severe weather made its way south into Douglas County, wind gusts reached 80 miles per hour there and again in Morrison County, Hiltbrand said.

A tornado watch was issued until 1 a.m. for a large swath of the state from the Minnesota-Iowa border to an area north of Brainerd, including the Twin Cities area. But by 10 p.m., the advisory was changed to a severe storm watch.

On Monday, Hiltbrand said, skies should be partly cloudy at daybreak, with a chance of showers and an isolated thunderstorm in the afternoon.


Staff Writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.