Tornado watch issued for northern Minnesota, potential for lime-sized hail

The best chance for severe storms is in northern/central Minnesota.
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UPDATE 6:45 P.M.

A tornado watch has been issued for much of north-central and northwest Minnesota until 1 a.m.

The National Weather Service says a couple of tornadoes are possible in the area, along with potential for lime-sized hail.

Wind gusts of up to 70mph will make for a stormy night in the northern half of the state, with residents urged to keep an eye on the skies and take shelter when necessary.

The watch zone includes Brainerd, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Wadena.

Meanwhile, in northeastern Minnesota including Duluth, a flash flood watch is in place, with the region expected to get some heavy downpours.

Original story

While it'll be extremely hot in southern Minnesota today, the northern half of the state needs to be on the lookout for violent thunderstorms. 

According to the Storm Prediction Center, storms capable of producing very large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes are possible late this afternoon or early this evening, although it is possible that storms don't develop until after dark. 

Storms are expected to develop in northern Minnesoa, and if storms are able to stay isolated as supercells, they'll pose the threat for severe hail over two inches in diameter, which is just under the size of a tennis ball.

Additionally, supercells will be capable of producing severe straight-line winds and a few tornadoes, according to the SPC. 

"The greatest severe threat will be in north-central Minnesota from the Brainerd Lakes region north to the international border," says the Duluth office of the National Weather Service. 

Meanwhile, the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service says another area of storms could develop late afternoon closer to the metro area, with computer models indicating storms could fire around 4-5 p.m. "in a north to south orientation along a line from near Mille Lacs Lake southward through Mankato and to the Iowa border." 

If those storms develop, they'll be capable of reaching severe levels as well. 

As for the heat, tropical dewpoints in the 70s will push heat indices across southern Minnesota anywhere from 95-105 degrees. 

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