Major severe weather outbreak expected in parts of Minnesota

The best chance for damaging winds appears to be in northwest and north-central Minnesota.
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lightning, thunderstorm

12 P.M. UPDATE 

The Storm Prediction has expanded the area under the greatest risk for damaging straight-line winds Friday night into the overnight hours, pushing it all the way across central Minnesota while also pushing the enhanced risk further south into the Twin Cities. 

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The areas shaded in red have a good chance of getting hit by a severe line of storms, while the areas in orange and yellow have a decent chance of getting hit, though it's unclear how far south storms will develop, per the SPC. 

Original story 9 a.m. Friday

Widespread severe weather is anticipated late Friday night into Saturday morning across parts of central and northern Minnesota, possibly even as far south as the Twin Cities, as a bowing line of storms capable of producing significant damaging winds is forecast to move through the region. 

A moderate risk of severe storms, which is level 4 of 5 on the severe scale, has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center for eastern parts of North Dakota into Minnesota on an east-to-west gradient. 

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"The wind threat should sweep eastward across northern and perhaps central MN this evening and tonight, potentially reaching parts of Lake Superior, northern WI and western upper MI late tonight," said the SPC after releasing an update Friday morning.

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The Twin Cities is in a slight risk (level 2 of 5) as storms might weaken during the overnight hours, and it's entirely possible that they stay north of the metro, as evidenced by the morning future radar simulation from the HRRR model. 

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For areas that do get hit by the line of storms, it could be a rocky night. 

"Significant widespread wind damage appears likely late Friday afternoon into Friday night. Other storms may fire ahead of main line. Have a way to receive warnings. Be weather aware and ready to act," said the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service (NWS).

Another round of intense storms possible Saturday

The heat and humidity Saturday will set the stage for potentially explosive thunderstorm development later in the day, though the atmosphere could be capped to the point that storms simply can't get going. 

That's the big question for Saturday night, but if storms do get going, the weather service says they will likely be intense and pose a damaging wind and hail threat. The forecast for Saturday is highly conditional and how storms evolve Friday night, in addition to how long the cap holds Saturday. 

Extreme heat index values Saturday

Saturday is going to be a fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk kind of day as temps soar into the 90s, though the really oppressive variable will be dewpoints rising into the 70s and maybe eclipsing 80 in some places, which will push the heat index well over 100. 

This map from the Twin Cities office of the NWS shows just how hot it could feel outside Saturday afternoon. They've got a current feels-like forecast of 106 in the Twin Cities, with similar temps throughout the southern half of Minnesota. 

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An excessive heat watch has been issued for the entire metro area and most of southern Minnesota, with the weather service urging people to stay out of the sun if possible and to drink plenty of fluids. More from the excessive heat watch: 

"Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

"Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes."

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