Ominous clouds spotted ahead of Thursday storms

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A shelf cloud in Rogers, Minnesota on Tuesday, August 18.

From: Supplied

Storms that dropped some rain and brought a little lightning to the Twin Cities on Thursday came with some ominous-looking shelf clouds.

Viewers from Rogers and Coon Rapids in the north metro, all the way out to Hammond, Wisconsin captured photos of the spooky-looking clouds Thursday evening.

While shelf clouds may be worrisome, FOX 9's meteorologist Ian Leonard says shelf clouds aren't necessarily a sign of tornadic storms. Shelf clouds do come as part of strong thunderstorms with broad rotation. But that doesn't always mean you're going to see a tornado. There are other clouds, like wall clouds, that are more frequently associated with stronger storms.

Thursday's storms did bring some rain, lightning, and wind, but no reports of any significant damage. The highest rain totals reported, as of 8:30 p.m., were 0.90 of an inch in Lake Elmo, 0.76 of an inch in South St. Paul, and 0.46 of an inch in Hutchinson.

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Going forward for the evening, rain is expected to lift Thursday night with mostly clear conditions overnight with a chance of a shower.