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Tornado watch issued for severe threat in southeast Minnesota

The watch is in effect until 8 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch in southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and western Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon. 

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The watch, which does not include the immediate Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but does include some south metro suburbs. Counties included in the watch are: 

  • Dakota
  • Dodge
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore
  • Freeborn
  • Goodhue
  • Houston
  • Mower
  • Olmsted
  • Rice
  • Steele
  • Wabasha
  • Winona

"Large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado or two are possible with any storms that develop," the weather service says, noting that damaging winds could reach 70 mph and hailstones could be the size of ping pong balls. 

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More from the tornado watch language: 

"Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected to develop by late this afternoon. This may include a few supercells with the potential to produce tornadoes, before a broken squall line evolves and advances eastward with damaging wind gusts likely becoming the primary severe hazard this evening."

Meteorologist Sven Sungaard will have an update to the severe weather threat later this afternoon. Stay tuned. 

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