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Large hail and strong tornadoes are possible in southern Minnesota and across Iowa Tuesday evening as a strong storm system with ample moisture plows through the region. 

The severity of the storms in Minnesota will be largely dependent on how far north a warm front can make it. The National Weather Service notes that some models are showing the warm front making it as far north as the southern Twin Cities metro, while others keep the warm front closer to the Minnesota-Iowa border. 

"We'll have to watch closely where this low/triple point ends up through the evening, as this region will have the greatest risk of seeing a more significant severe weather risk (including the risk of a strong tornado or two) given the highly sheared environment that will be in place," the NWS Twin Cities forecast discussion says. 

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The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has the Twin Cities in a "slight risk" for severe storms, with an elevated enhanced risk along Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota. A more intense moderate risk is in place across Iowa.


"Potentially intense thunderstorm development, including surface-based convection and elevated storms to the north of the northward-shifting warm front, is expected by late afternoon across eastern Nebraska/northwest Iowa/southeast Minnesota generally near the surface low/triple point," the SPC says. 

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Supercells that develop along and south of the warm front will be capable of producing tornadoes, some of which could be strong (EF2 or stronger), large hail and damaging winds, according to the SPC. 

Locations that are north of the warm front are still at risk of severe storms, namely large hail and isolated damaging winds. Here's the radar simulation for the rest of the day from the HRRR model. It shows supercells exploding near the Minnesota-Iowa border after 6 p.m. 


Crippling blizzard in North Dakota

All but seven of the 53 counties in North Dakota are under a blizzard warning. 

"A significant blizzard is still on track to impact western and central North Dakota beginning this morning and continuing through Thursday. Snowfall amounts around 30 inches possible in some locations," the NWS Bismarck says. 

The language in the official blizzard warning is intense

Heavy snow and blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations between 12 and 24 inches, with locally higher amounts up to 30 inches possible. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph.

Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. Notify a friend or family member of your travel plans. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

The Winter Storm Severity Index is maxed out across most of North Dakota, now through Thursday evening. 


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