Severe storms could erupt Wednesday evening, overnight in Minnesota

Details on the severe threat, which includes the entire state.
Publish date:

4:15 P.M. UPDATE

Storms are still forecast to develop Wednesday afternoon and evening, but the computer models are now suggesting that storms will stick in central and northern Minnesota before more storms develop overnight into Thursday morning in southern parts of the state. 

The air is loaded with fuel for thunderstorms to develop, so when they do they could dump a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Storms that reach severe levels will be capable of damaging winds, large hail and a tornado or two can't be ruled out. 

Here's the latest run of the NAM 3KM model (GIF may not load in all browsers) which shows storms in the northern half of the state working east-southeast during the afternoon and evening, followed by storm development late Wednesday into the overnight hours. 


12 P.M.

Flooding from heavy rain and strong storms are possible across parts of southern Minnesota Wednesday through the overnight hours as a potent storm system progresses through the Upper Midwest. 

The flood threat exists from the Twin Cities through parts of south-central and southeast Minnesota, where a flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). 

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The severe threat is currently at the slight risk level from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for all of Minnesota, but do note that some storms could become quite nasty if the sun is able to break out from mid-afternoon through the evening. If the sun doesn't break through the cloud cover, the threat for severe storms is less. 

slight risk

What's interesting is that the 7:30 a.m. update from the SPC had southern Minnesota and northern Minnesota in a slight risk, but not central parts of the state. Now it's all of Minnesota under-the-gun for potentially damaging storms. 

Here's more of the discussion from the SPC about today's storm threat, which, in layman's terms, says that if the sun comes out storms could get nasty anywhere in Minnesota. 

"Such surface-based redevelopment could initially focus later this afternoon across eastern North Dakota and nearby northeast South Dakota/northwest Minnesota, and subsequently develop eastward through the evening. Other storms may develop farther south across central Minnesota, with overall intensity/surface-based likelihood depending on air mass recovery. Where the air mass does moderately/strongly destabilize, deep-layer shear will be more than adequate for supercells/organized multicells. Multiple sub-regional corridors of storms capable of hail/wind are possible across the region later this afternoon into tonight, and some tornado risk may exist as well, particularly as the low-level jet strengthens early this evening."

The simulated radar from the 12 p.m. run from the HRRR model shows storms firing in northern Minnesota mid-afternoon, with any southern storms not firing till much later. 

Meanwhile, the NAM 3KM's model run (which we'll update at 3 p.m.) shows far more explosive storm development around 7-8 p.m. in southern Minnesota, which would be indicative of the sun coming out. 


Keep tabs on the situation by following the Weather MN blog. 

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