UPDATE: A tornado watch was issued Thursday afternoon for several counties in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin until 10 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The rain continues Thursday with threats of flooding and severe storms, even possible tornadoes, in the afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service says most of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, has a chance to see severe weather. The areas with the highest chances of severe storm are south-central and southeastern Minnesota, in an area that covers Mankato, Albert Lea and Rochester.

Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak says that in the afternoon and early evening hours tornadoes may develop in southeastern Minnesota. There’s a possibility tornadoes could spin as far north as the southern Twin Cities suburbs.

Other severe weather threats for southern Minnesota include straight-line winds, heavy rain and hail.

RELATED: 3 EF-2 Tornadoes Sweep Across Sioux Falls

As for timing, the Twin Cities and south-central Minnesota are expected to see severe storms around 2 p.m. The storm system will then push into southeastern Minnesota in the evening.

Heavy Rain, Flooding

While Minnesota has gotten soaked this week, few places have been hit as hard as southwestern Minnesota.

A WCCO Weather Watcher in Westbrook reported Thursday morning that more than 7 inches of rain had fallen overnight.

Such a deluge has prompted a flood warning for the southwestern corner of the state.

RELATED: Download The WCCO Weather App

Meanwhile, a flood watch is in effect for much of the rest of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, through Thursday evening.

The week’s rainfall has led to moist soil conditions and elevated streams and creeks. Amid such wet conditions, more rainfall could lead to rapid runoff.

Big Change Coming

The rain is expected to stop Thursday night, and the weekend looks to be mostly dry, with temperatures climbing each day.

By Sunday, the sun will be shining and the mercury will climb into the upper 70s. And the warming will only continue.

The first half of next week will feel like the dog days of summer, with highs in the mid-80s.

The last time the Twin Cities saw temperatures in the 80s was in mid-August.

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