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UPDATE: Special weather statement for Twin Cities warns of flooding threat

The environment will be favorable for strong tornadoes.
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UPDATE 5 P.M.

A special weather statement has now been issued for the southern Twin Cities metro, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, warning of localized flooding as continuing storms are expected to drop more rain over the coming hours.

The National Weather Service says areas that have already seen 1-3 inches of rain today could get an extra inch or more this evening, causing localized flooding in urban areas, particularly areas with poor drainage.

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UPDATE 4 P.M.

A tornado watch has been put in place for a vast swath of southern Minnesota at 11 p.m., though at this stage it doesn't include the Twin Cities.

1 p.m.

Thursday is one of the few days in a year where Minnesota is under the gun for a significant tornado threat, and that threat is focused on the southeastern part of the state this afternoon and evening. 

The forecast discussion from the National Weather Service of the Twin Cities says "this is a classic severe weather/tornado outbreak pattern," with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) adding that the environment in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin "will be quite favorable for severe, including a substantial tornado risk" with any storms that remain discrete. 

In layman's terms, that means any storms that show up on radar all by themselves will have a better chance of dropping a tornado.

And that is the big question: will any storms be discrete or will this be mostly a damaging wind threat from a line of storms? 

Comparing the midnight update from the SPC to the 8 a.m. update shows that the significant tornado threat has shifted ever so slightly to the north, as noted by the 10 percent area in the maps below. The map to the left is from midnight and the map to the right is the latest update from 8 a.m. 

The black hash marks within the yellow/black circle represent the zone that could see strong tornadoes. 

The black hash marks within the yellow/black circle represent the zone that could see strong tornadoes. 

All of the local TV meteorologists seems to agree that a line of potent storms could roll through the Twin Cities and points south this afternoon and evening. 

We'll be updating this story throughout the day as meteorologists will likely have a better understanding of where the strongest storms could occur as the day goes on. 

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