7:30 A.M. THURSDAY UPDATE
The Storm Prediction Center says the greatest threat for tornadoes, some of which could be strong, is in southeast Minnesota. The Twin Cities is not out of the woods, but the greatest threat is to the southeast in places like Rochester, Owatonna, Faribault, Winona and surrounding areas.
This map shows where tornadoes are possible this afternoon, with locations inside the 10 percent area in the most conducive zone.
A potent storm system will arrive in the Upper Midwest on Thursday and bring with it a threat of damaging straight-line winds, large hail and tornadoes.
The severe storms will come in addition to the likelihood of torrential rain Wednesday night through Thursday in southern Minnesota, where widespread totals of 3-4 inches are expected with some amounts of 5-6 inches possible.
The simulated future radar shows what COULD happen between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Thursday. At a minimum, it shows the waves of storms expected.
A flash flood watch is in effect across far southern Minnesota from 7 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday afternoon.
The severe storm threat arrives Thursday afternoon as all of the ingredients could very well be in place for some dangerous storms.
The Twin Cities and points south and east are in an enhanced risk for severe storms, with the main threats being damaging winds and possible tornadoes. Large hail is also possible.
However, if the sun isn't able to break through during the morning and early afternoon hours, the threat for severe weather will likely decrease. Where the sun does come out, temps could rise into the mid-80s.
KSTP meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas has outlined the area below for tornado potential between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday, although this area could change over the next 12-18 hours.
"At this time, the areas at highest risk for severe weather Thursday evening will be Southeastern MN and West Central WI, but there is still the potential for severe weather across South Central MN and Central MN, including the Twin Cities," says the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities, which notes that the greatest tornado threat is currently east and south of the metro area.
Remember, the areas of greatest threat will likely change slightly between now and Thursday, which we'll update with a fresh story on Thursday morning and then continue monitoring throughout the day.
Further north, areas around Lake Superior will be dealing with gale force winds, which KBJR reports will create waves of 14-21 feet.