Nasty storms producing giant hail Monday morning has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a severe thunderstorm watch that includes the Twin Cities until 1 p.m.
Counties in the watch include: Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Crow Wing, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Renville, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Washington and Wright.
As of 8 a.m., severe storms were blasting east-northeast at 60 mph near Willmar, with the main threats including damaging winds and destructive hail the size of tennis balls, baseballs and possibly softballs.
"These are destructive storms. Prepare immediately for large destructive hail capable of producing significant damage. People outside should move to a shelter, inside a strong building and away from windows," the National Weather Service said.
According to the severe thunderstorm watch, primary threats from the storms include scattered large hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter and isolated damaging winds up to 70 mph.
"Thunderstorms, moving rapidly northeastward across the watch area this morning, will continue to offer occasional severe hail -- some potentially significant (2+ inches in diameter)," the watch reads.