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Minnesota Weather: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Canceled For Central Minnesota, Wind Advisory In Effect

UPDATE (1 p.m.) The severe thunderstorm watch for central Minnesota has been canceled by the National Weather Service. Still, high wind advisories and warnings remain in effect in west-central Minnesota through 3 p.m. Forecasters say that gusts up to 70 mph are possible amid the rain, which could lead to damage and possible power outages.

Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak says that it’s possible severe storms could redevelop as the system move southeast across Minnesota. The Storm Prediction Center has downgraded the severe weather threat through the afternoon. The southern half of the state is now under a marginal risk of severe storms while the south-central strip and southeastern corner of Minnesota are under a marginal risk. The main threats are damaging winds and hail.

Overnight, another round of thunderstorms is expected and could develop to be severe. Even more rain is expected on Friday and over the weekend, especially for southern Minnesota. Over the next five days, some areas could see up to 4 inches of rainfall.

As storm activity is happening in the south, Minnesotans in the Arrowhead are dealing with an air quality alert. Smoke from wildfires burning in northern Minnesota is making the air quality dangerous for sensitive groups, prompting air quality alerts in northeastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

UPDATE (12 p.m.): The severe thunderstorm watch Thursday morning for southwestern Minnesota has extended to counties in the central part of the state.

As of noon, the watch covers almost the entire western half of southern Minnesota. Already, severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued as storms threatening 60 mph winds and hail have moved into the state from the Dakotas. Additionally, the storm system is prompting high wind warnings for counties in west-central Minnesota, where storms could produce gusts as strong as 70 mph.

Meanwhile, another line of non-severe storms is making its way toward the Twin Cities metro. Those at the Minnesota State Fair should expect heavy downpours.

As the afternoon progresses, the line of severe storms is expected to wash over southern Minnesota, threatening the Minnesota River Valley and the Interstate 90 corridor with damaging winds, heavy rain, hail, and possible tornados.

The severe weather threat for central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro, is less, although storms could still be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and heavy rain.

Up north, Minnesotans are dealing with a different concern: air quality. Wildfires burning in northeastern Minnesota have prompted an air quality alert for the Arrowhead and much of northern Wisconsin.

UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): More severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued Thursday morning for southwestern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service says storms approaching the Montevideo area were capable of producing 60 mph wind gusts and penny-sized hail. Those in the warning area were advised to go into an interior room in the lowest floor of their homes or another building.

According to meteorologist Mike Augustyniak, the storms are expected to strengthen as they move southeast across southern Minnesota. Through the afternoon, areas along the Minnesota River Valley and the Interstate 90 corridor could see damaging winds, heavy rain, hail and brief tornadoes.

Less severe weather is expected for central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro. Those attending the Minnesota State Fair should expect rain and storms through the night. Threats could include heavy rain, damaging winds and hail.

Meanwhile, wildfires burning in northern Minnesota have prompted an air quality alert for the northeastern area of the state and parts of northern Wisconsin.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Storm clouds are moving into southwestern Minnesota on Thursday morning, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings and watches. Meanwhile, an air quality alert has been issued for parts of northern Minnesota due to wildfires.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for a number of counties in southwestern and south-central Minnesota. The watch is slated to last until 3 p.m. Forecasters say the threats include damaging winds, hail and frequent lightning.

Around 10 a.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for areas along the South Dakota border, near Graceville in Big Stone County. According to weather officials, the storms were capable of producing 60 mph winds and brief tornadoes.

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Meteorologist Riley O’Connor says the storms will likely strengthen as they move into Minnesota, mainly impacting the southern-most counties, particularly along the Iowa border.

Even so, the Twin Cities metro is expected to see storms in the afternoon, which could bring damaging winds, hail and urban flooding caused by heavy rain. Those venturing out to the Minnesota State Fair will want to be weather aware.

Storms are expected to continue through the overnight hours, and more rain is in the forecast for Friday.

According to current models, some areas of southern Minnesota could see up to 4 inches of rain over the next five days, as the forecast calls for more unsettled weather. This rainfall could help to blunt the ongoing drought, which weather officials say has worsened over the last week.

(credit: CBS)

Air Quality Alert

In addition to severe weather threats in the state, an air quality alert has been issued for parts of northern Minnesota and upper half of Wisconsin, due to the Greenwood fire.

Unhealthy to very Unhealthy air is being measured by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency smoke sensors, resulting in a code orange area quality alert for the affected areas.

Stick with WCCO for the latest weather coverage.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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