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Sven Sundgaard: Zeroing in on Tuesday tornado threat in Minnesota, Iowa

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is tracking the storm system for Bring Me The News.

The first big severe weather day of the spring in Minnesota remains possible in southern parts of the state on Tuesday, though it's still entirely possible that the worst of the storms stay in Iowa. 

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is tracking the storm system for Bring Me The News.

He says there will likely be a few showers Tuesday afternoon before storms begin to pop, possibly in southeastern South Dakota and northwestern Iowa, around 5-6 p.m. and then move across southern Minnesota. 

A low level jet (3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground) will be roaring Tuesday, bringing winds of 70-80 mph aloft, transporting heat & moisture north.

A low level jet (3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground) will be roaring Tuesday, bringing winds of 70-80 mph aloft, transporting heat & moisture north.

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"It's those initial storms that could be pretty strong, especially into Iowa," Sundgaard says. Here's the one of the latest radar simulations from the HRRR model, which shows explosive storm development near the borders of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa at around 5-6 p.m.  

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The Twins Cities might be a bit too far north to get tornadoes, but severe weather can't be ruled out Tuesday night. There is a "slight risk" for severe storms across southern Minnesota, though an "enhanced" threat covers most of Iowa and ends at the Minnesota border. 

Upper left: Severe weather outlook; Upper right: tornado outlook (hatched area represents highest risk for strong tornadoes); Bottom left: hail outlook (hatched area is where very large hail is possible); Bottom right: damaging wind potential. 

Upper left: Severe weather outlook; Upper right: tornado outlook (hatched area represents highest risk for strong tornadoes); Bottom left: hail outlook (hatched area is where very large hail is possible); Bottom right: damaging wind potential. 

"We're going to be probably north of the warm front here in the Twin Cities, which means north of the best instability, energy, all of those things that are quite necessary to really organize those storms and then get them to form to the surface," says Sundgaard. 

Below is a graphic showing where some of the models are predicting the warm front to be Tuesday evening. It'll be areas along and south of the warm front (red dashes) that will have the highest chances for all modes of severe weather (hail, damaging wind, tornadoes). 

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"Storms in Iowa are more favorable Tuesday for tornadoes. Minnesota storms will be largely elevated, meaning the base of the main storms/updrafts will be nearly 1 mile up, making it difficult for tornadoes to form," Sundgaard reiterated. "You want lower cloud bases and that’s a function of higher dew points on the warm side of a system." 

Southern Minnesota could be under the gun for potentially dangerous storms. Take a look at the Significant Tornado Parameter, which the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center uses to "highlight the co-existence of ingredients favoring right-moving supercells capable of producing F2-F5 tornadoes."

The Significant Tornado Parameter could be extremely high in Iowa and far southern Minnesota on Tuesday evening. 

The Significant Tornado Parameter could be extremely high in Iowa and far southern Minnesota on Tuesday evening. 

Meanwhile, the cold side of the storm promises to hammer North Dakota and northern Minnesota with big-time snow totals and high winds. More on the wintry impacts can be found here

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