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Strong, severe storms threaten Minnesota Thursday-Saturday

Heavy rain overnight into Friday and then bigger storms possible Saturday.

It's going to be a beautiful start to the Minnesota State Fair with sunny skies and temperatures rising to around 80 degrees Thursday in the Twin Cities. But the gorgeous weather won't last long. 

Storms that develop in the eastern Dakotas Thursday afternoon are expected to roll through Minnesota late Thursday night into Friday morning, and there's a good chance the first half of Friday is a total washout, followed by rain and thunder chances again Friday afternoon and evening. 

The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service is predicting close to an inch of rain to fall in the metro and most of eastern Minnesota, with slightly more in west-central Wisconsin. 

Here's a simulated future radar depicting potential storm activity from 6 p.m. Thursday through 9 a.m. Friday. This is a simulation and not exactly what will happen. 

nam3km_mslp_pcpn_frzn_ncus_fh18-32

While the Twin Cities will avoid any severe weather on Thursday, there is a threat for storms to producing damaging winds and large hail in the region each of the next three days, with the best chance of severe storms in Minnesota coming Saturday afternoon. 

From left to right, Thursday, Friday and Saturday's severe storm threat. 

From left to right, Thursday, Friday and Saturday's severe storm threat. 

The forecast will likely change over the next 48 hours, but the Storm Prediction Center is already calling for some"isolated significant hail" possible on Saturday. 

The forecast discussion from the NWS Twin Cities views Saturday as follows: "Supercellular storm modes would supported in this case given the environment with damaging wind and potentially very large hail (conditional) threats."

Further ahead, Sunday into Monday, the rain chances are 50-50 at the moment, although the NWS Twin Cities says computer models are suggesting widespread rain across much of Minnesota, including the potential for heavy rain and flash flooding. 

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