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Six days from Monday and the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has its focus on Minnesota and Iowa for a potentially stormy day. The latest Day 6 outlook from the SPC places the southern half of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and pretty much all of Iowa in a slight risk for severe storms. 

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"The weather pattern will become much warmer and more humid by next week with rounds of thunderstorms likely," says the Twin Cities office of the NWS. "Some storms may be severe, particularly on Monday when a risk area covers much of the Upper Mississippi Valley. Temperatures will warm into the 70s, but there are indications that 80s to low 90s are also possible."

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But as meteorologist Sven Sundgaard points out, the European model keeps the lid on the pot, so to speak, meaning the atmosphere may be capped and too warm aloft for thunderstorms to develop. 


The Canadian model does just the opposite. 

"The Canadian model forecasting cooler temperatures aloft, which would be creating instability as we heat things up. But the European model is significantly warmer. And when you go up 10,000 feet or so, a few degrees Celsius makes a big difference in terms of is the atmosphere capped or not to allow storms to develop. The European model has that cap much further north. These are very warm temperatures in the middle of the atmosphere so that if air tries to rise, it hits that relatively warm air and can’t rise any longer," Sundgaard said Wednesday.

"Canadian model though is much less aggressive with the cap on Monday. So again, it's the timing of how fast that heat builds next week [will] affect not just temperatures but also in terms of instability for severe weather."

One way or another, it looks like there will be plenty of convective available potential energy (CAPE) for Mother Nature to work with. Here's the European model, which although it suggests it could be too warm aloft for storms to rise to their full potential, the surface-based energy will be significant, especially in Iowa. 


The Canadian model keeps the bulk of that energy further south on Monday, though it has a ton of energy over Minnesota on Tuesday. 


Anyway, Monday is still Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday away so it's not like whatever picture the weather service is painting this far out will be the finished product by the time Monday rolls around, but the ingredients could be in place for some active weather. 

"This will certainly be something to monitor as Monday and Tuesday get closer," the Twin Cities office of the NWS says. 

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