Tornado watch issued for west-central Minnesota, flash flood watch in north

A strong tornado cannot be ruled out, forecasters say.
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UPDATE 4:30 P.M.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch in west-central Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, with severe storms expected late Saturday afternoon and evening.

The watch area includes the cities of Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Morris, Wadena, Willmar, and even St. Cloud is right on the edge of it.

The watch is in place until midnight.

The same area is included in a wider flash flood warning, that also includes much of northern Minnesota including Duluth, Brainerd and Grand Rapids.

The National Weather Service says between 2-5 inches could fall between now and midnight.

Original story

The threat for severe storms across western, central and eastern Minnesota is increasing as a very warm, humid airmass destabilizes Saturday afternoon. 

According to the Storm Prediction Center, strong to severe storms are expected to develop in the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota mid-to-late afternoon and then roll across central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin tonight. 

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Damaging winds and large hail are possible along with tornadoes, some of which could be strong, the SPC notes. 

NOAA's HRRR model shows what could happen with its simulated future radar, with this GIF reflective of what the model is projecting (as of noon Saturday) from 5 p.m. through 4 a.m. 

hrrr_ref_frzn_ncus_fh7-18

Stay aware of changing weather conditions, especially this afternoon and evening. 

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