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UPDATE SATURDAY 8 A.M.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are being issued as the storm system makes its way through Minnesota.

Areas that have warnings in place through 8:30 a.m. – with the potential for large hail and 60 mph gusts – include: 

  • Montgomery
  • Le Center
  • Eagle Lake

Friday P.M.

Temps in the 60s and 70s –maybe even 80 in southwestern Minnesota – along with dew points around 60 and a strong cold front could lead to severe storms in Minnesota late afternoon Saturday. 

"Tomorrow is our most impressive looking situation to date," says meteorologist Sven Sundgaard, noting that the severe weather setup isn't out of this world, but compared to severe weather chances earlier this spring, this will be the most conducive setup. 

"It's the prime surface parameters for severe weather," he continued, noting that a fast-moving cold front will rapidly cool the air aloft to allow storms to pop. He likened it to taking the lid off a boiling pot of water.

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The key will be timing. 

"It's a very narrow window. The cold front is the impetus," Sven added. "Tomorrow's situation is, they gotta fire along the front because once that front is through the risk is done." 

Sundgaard expects storms to pop late afternoon and then spread east. He says tornadoes can't be ruled out, especially in the first hour or two after the initial storms develop, but straight-line winds and large hail are the more likely hazards. 

Where the storms initiate is the big question, but the National Weather Service expects storms develop by late afternoon. The HRRR model is a good simulation for that possibility. HRRR radar simulation from 12 p.m. to midnight:

floop-hrrr-2022042218.refcmp.us_mw

The HRRR's Significant Tornado Parameter matches the NAM 3KM to a degree, but keeps the parameters stronger and slightly further east, just west of the Twin Cities and further south towards Mankato. 

hrrr-minnesota-sig_tor-0754800

Here's a cool view of an ensemble of short-term models. All of the colors represent different models and where they see precipitation and storms at 5 p.m. Saturday. Clearly, the eastern half Minnesota is the favorite for where storms will be located at that time. 

cref_pb40.np.f03400

Sven says he won't be surprised if the Storm Prediction Center pushes the risk from slight to enhanced for Minnesota on Saturday. Either way, we'll have updates Saturday. 

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