MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Severe storms swept across southern Minnesota on Thursday morning, and more storms are expected to fire up in the afternoon and evening.
In the meantime, skies will clear in the afternoon hours over central Minnesota, and temperatures could climb into the 80s in parts of the state.
Meteorologist Chris Shaffer says rain and thunderstorms will redevelop this evening mainly from the Twin Cities and areas south and southeast. Same scenario: strong winds, heavy rain with small hail also possible.
The National Weather Service says Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m.
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Earlier Thursday, a line of fast-moving storms washed over south-central Minnesota. According to weather officials, there were several reports of downed tree limbs as winds were clocked at speeds over 60 mph.
Viewers sent in numerous pictures of menacing-looking shelf clouds in various areas of Minnesota.
Additionally, localized power outages occurred in the storm system’s path. According to Xcel Energy, more than 1,000 households were without power in the early afternoon. Crews are working to restore energy, the company says.
Heavy rain was also reported in central Minnesota. WCCO Weather Watchers reported totals of 2 inches or more in Sauk Rapids and Alexandria.
Further to the east, in Pine County, the heavy rain prompted a flash flood warning, which remains in effect until 11 p.m.
The morning storms, which gained energy in the Dakotas before roaring over south-central Minnesota, lost strength just as they hit the Twin Cities metro area around 10 a.m. As a result, there were no severe thunderstorm warnings over the heart of the metro.
Looking at the weekend, it’s going to get hot. Precipitation clears out overnight leaving behind very humid air. Minnesota will heat up, and the combo of heat and humidity could be dangerous Saturday and possibly Sunday.
According to Shaffer, highs will make the 90s with dew points around 70. The heat index should crack the 95-103 range. Stay cool.
Rain is possible Sunday bringing slight relief. It stays muggy, but it won’t be as hot going into next week.