Thunderstorm chances will increase across Minnesota late Thursday night into Friday, though the strongest storms could very well wind up being west of the Twin Cities metro late Thursday and south and east of the metro on Friday.
"A cold front will move through the region and bring chances for thunderstorms over the next 48 hours. However, the timing of the front means a relatively low severe weather threat for most locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin," says the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service.
"We expect some weakening storms to move in from the west tonight, and they'll redevelop to the southeast on Friday."
Any storms that do reach severe levels will be capable of producing damaging winds and isolated large hail. In terms of timing, the NAM computer model guidance shows storms developing in the Dakota by mid-afternoon Thursday and pushing into western Minnesota between 5-10 p.m., with the weakening remnants of the storms impacting eastern parts of Minnesota very early Friday.
Tom Novak of Novak Weather is expecting a line of storms to move out of South Dakota late Thursday and track east across southern Minnesota. The strength of that line is pending, though Novak believes it will produce frequent lightning, brief heavy rain and possibly strong winds.
The radar simulation then shows storms firing well south/east of the Twin Cities on Friday afternoon, meaning Friday could wind up being a pretty nice once the morning storms clear out.
Thursday also marks the beginning of much warmer air working into Minnesota, as temps over the next 7-10 days are expected to range from the mid-80s to the 90s, in addition to very humid air next week. The weather service expects heat index values – what it feels like outside – to push the 100-degree mark a couple of times next week.