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Evening storms bring hail, power outages to southern Minnesota

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Severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect for parts of Minnesota Monday night.

The National Weather Service said a storm passing through Dakota and Washington Counties into western Wisconsin carried hail the size of ping pong balls and included 60 mph winds. The line of storms swept through the Minnesota River valley, dropping hail on Shakopee (above).

The Rochester area was hit by thunderstorms in the afternoon and again closer to sundown.

Power outages reported by Xcel Energy included more than 17,000 customers at one point during the evening.

Find the latest numbers and outage map here.

Forecasters warned Minnesotans that storm clusters passing through the region could change quickly and could bring damage from hail and winds.

Flood warnings were also in effect for some areas of the state. The Department of Public Safety reported flash flooding closed a portion of Interstate 494 in Richfield.

The Pioneer Press reports Minnesota Department of Transportation officials at the scene were telling motorists they would likely be delayed for three hours by the shutdown.

Traffic lanes were closed but KSTP reported some semis were being allowed to pass through the standing water on the shoulders of the Interstate.

KARE 11 noted that the storms could also produce locally heavy rainfall and lightning damage in addition to the hail and strong winds, but was expecting the stormy weather to quiet down in the overnight hours.

The National Weather Service's storm prediction center has a map of the risk of severe weather Monday:

A look ahead

Temperatures hit 90 degrees in the metro for the first time on Sunday, but the hot weather won't stick around. A fresh cool front from Canada was arriving Monday night, which will keep the Upper Midwest cooler than normal and increase the chance of isolated storms on Tuesday and Friday this week, the weather service says.

Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog that this week will be one of the nicest weeks of the summer – humidity is expected to drop and temperatures will likely be in the high 70s and 80s.

Huttner and KARE 11 say storms and mugginess will return Friday, and there could be a chance for scattered storms Thursday night.

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