MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday was one wild day for weather in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Wind, hail, snow or heavy rain — it all depended on where you lived. For example, at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening there were clear skies in Owatonna, thunderstorms in the east metro and snow falling on the North Shore.
The most severe storms popped up south of the Twin Cities. The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for several counties. The severe weather threat ended early Wednesday evening. Tornado warnings this early in the year are quite rare, according to meteorologist Chris Shaffer, who says the last time this happened was on March 6, 2017.
A daily record was set for rainfall in the state Wednesday (69-hundreths of an inch) — a record which stood for 143 years (59-hundreths of an inch).
There was also a trail of sizeable hail throughout the east metro, with pieces as large as two-and-a-half inches in diameter observed in Inver Grove Heights.
Bands of heavy snow will keep falling across all of northern Minnesota overnight, finally exiting the state by the morning commute — leaving 3-6 inches of accumulation in its wake. The Twin Cities could be clipped by one of those bands overnight, but there won’t be any accumulation.
A wind advisory will be in effect until 3 a.m. Thursday throughout most of southern Minnesota, with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour possible.
We’ll get a chance to dry out Thursday, as the state cools down. Most highs will be in the low-to-mid-40s, which is still several degrees above average for this time of year. Things will start out cloudy, but sunshine will increase as the day rolls on.
Highs will be in the 50s this weekend, and we’ll be free from storms and precipitation until another system arrives late Sunday into Monday — but this one won’t pack anywhere near the punch of Wednesday’s storm.