By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The end of this stretch of 90-degree weather is almost here, but first Minnesotans will have to face another evening of potential, severe storms.

UPDATE (9 p.m.): A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for most of Wisconsin and east-central Minnesota, including a few counties in the Twin Cities Metro area. The watch covers Aitkin, Anoka, Carlton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Pine, Ramsey and Washington County in Minnesota until 2 a.m.

WCCO’s Chris Shaffer says, “thunderstorms are starting to pop in the watch area. Hail and wind are the primary threats. An isolated tornado can’t be ruled out.”

A tornado warning was issued for Barron County, with some reports of hail and violent winds in the Rice Lake area.

UPDATE (3:50 p.m.): Though Wednesday morning’s rain and clouds kept things cooler than expected, temperatures are quickly rising.

Excessive heat warnings and advisories remain in effect in the southern half of Minnesota through 9 p.m.

Meteorologist Chris Shaffer said storms are likely to develop in northern Minnesota this afternoon and evening before quickly moving into Wisconsin. The Twin Cities may get clipped, but that area is on the edge of the severe weather threat.

The greatest risks with those storms are large hail and wind that could exceed 70 mph. Tornadoes are also possible, as well as localized flooding.

The state will stay hot for a few more days, though the humidity will decrease. After the storms move out Wednesday night, there’s no rain in sight for a while.


UPDATE (11 a.m.): Meteorologist Riley O’Connor says Wednesday could be the hottest day of the summer so far. After much-needed morning rain, temperatures are expected to climb into the upper-90s, and the sweltering humidity will push heat indices into the triple digits. By the afternoon, it could feel like 110 degrees in some southern Minnesota communities.

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and advisories for the southern half of the state until 9 p.m. Those under the warning areas are advised to drink plenty of water, limit time outdoors, and beware of signs of heat exhaustion.

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Minnesotans are encouraged to check in on neighbors and relatives during the extreme heat. Under no circumstances should children or pets be left in cars unattended.

Severe storms are expected to develop in the late afternoon and quickly rumble over the state. Threats include possible hurricane-force winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes.

The storms are expected to hit western Wisconsin the hardest, although the eastern Twin Cities metro is under an enhanced risk of severe weather, according to the latest models.

Following the storms will be a break from the heat and humidity. Dew points will fall to more comfortable levels Thursday, and temperatures will only reach the upper 80s. The milder weather looks to last through the weekend, but by early next week temperatures will inch closer to the 90s.

For the latest on Minnesota weather, download the WCCO Weather App.