The National Weather Service warned of the potential for very large hail with thunderstorms that developed Thursday, and that's exactly what dropped from the sky when storms exploded south of the Twin Cities.
Hail the size of tennis balls slammed Lonsdale, Elko New Market and Cannon Falls, with the largest stone measured at a whopping 3 inches in diameter. But the trained spotter who measured that hailstone did so 15 minutes after it fell, so it may have been even bigger.
The hail in Cannon Falls and Lonsdale reportedly damaged buildings and vehicles.
You can view a bunch of storm reports from the weather service here. Some that stand out:
- 2.2-inch hail near Heidelberg in Le Sueur County
- 1.75-inch hail just south of New Prague
- 2.5-inch hail in Lonsdale and near Elko New Market
- 61 mph wind gust in Northfield
- 2-inch hail in Cannon Falls and Randolph
- Tree limbs downed five miles from Dennison
The storms also trained over many of the same areas, resulting in much-needed moisture after a very dry stretch of weather. The Winona County Airport measured 2.72 inches of rain, while an inch-plus was commonplace along the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
The next chance for rain will be Sunday, though how much rain and any severe weather potential is yet to be determined, but the weather service notes in the forecast discussion that "unfortunately it doesn't look to bring much in the way of relief to the mounting drought conditions."