UPDATE: Click here to find our story looking in more depth at this afternoon/evening's severe storm potential, which has increased in the past hour.

Friday will be the hottest day of the year so far for much of Minnesota, with the Twin Cities in the firing line for extreme heat followed by severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service says the metro will be the hottest part of the state, with temperatures topping out in the low to mid '90s.

But the temp will be exacerbated by an extremely high dewpoint, which will put the Twin Cities at a heat index of 110 degrees.

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The Twin Cities is in an excessive heat warning area that includes much of the southern third of Minnesota. Stay in air-conditioned properties if possible, stay hydrated, and if you're outside, seek shade.

The heat will be followed up by some potentially severe thunderstorms later in the afternoon and evening.

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The Twin Cities and a large area of central Minnesota and western Wisconsin are in an "enhanced risk" area for severe storms.

This includes enhanced risk of damaging winds, tornadoes, and large hail.

The NWS Duluth says talking 2-inches or larger diameter hail, EF-2 tornadoes, and winds topping out at gusts in excess of 75 mph.

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The good news this is that the evening's storms will break the heat, ushering in some far more palatable temperatures over the weekend.

Saturday will be in the low 70s with showers in the metro area, before temperatures climb to the perfect level, around the 80 mark for the rest of the week.

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