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A tornado watch has been issued in south-central and southeastern Minnesota, and north-central Iowa until 10 p.m. Thursday. The watch does not include the Twin Cities metro. 

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) says "a couple tornadoes" are possible along with the threat of very large hail (up to baseball size) and scattered damaging winds up to 70 mph. 

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There is also a severe thunderstorm watch for the Twin Cities metro area. 


"Thunderstorms are expected to intensify this afternoon along a surface warm front. A few supercells are expected, capable of very large hail and a few tornadoes," the SPC says. 

"Strong vertical wind shear is already in place while instability continues to grow with a warm front lifting north," says the NWS Twin Cities. 

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The watch coincides with the the SPC's updated 3 p.m. enhanced risk for severe weather, which represents level 3 of 5 on the scale for severe storm chances. 

"It appears likely that intense convection will develop by [4-5 p.m.], with an increasing threat for very large hail, damaging winds, and perhaps a couple of tornadoes," the SPC's 3 p.m. update says. 

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Here's more on today and this weekend's weather with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. 

BMTN Note: Weather events in isolation can't always be pinned on climate change, but the broader trend of increasingly severe weather and record-breaking extremes seen in Minnesota and across the globe can be attributed directly to the rapidly warming climate caused by human activity. The IPCC has warned that Earth is "firmly on track toward an unlivable world," and says greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5C, which would prevent the most catastrophic effects on humankind. You can read more here.

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