Thunderstorms make a late November appearance

Image 1 of 7

Thanksgiving has come and gone and typically it’s cold and snow that all of us see for the next few months, but not this year.  Four days after Thanksgiving, and nearly into December, the Twin Cities metro experiences some rare thunderstorms.  That’s right; thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and even some pea to dime size hail.  More of what you’d expect to see in a spring or summer type storm, and here we are nearly to December and that’s what some of us had to contend with.  As you can imagine, it was a unique set of circumstances that lead to these storms; a powerful area of low pressure, strong mid and upper level winds, Gulf of Mexico moisture, very mild temperatures for this time of year, and a cold front.  That little wind shift that you see in one of the images above is all it took to pop some thunderstorms in our very volatile environment (for November). 

What made it even more unique is that the line developed and then sauntered eastward at a whopping 5 mph… not even going 15 miles from when the storms developed around 9am, to when they dissipated after noon.  With the cool atmosphere and strong updrafts, heavy rain and hail were seen in many areas of the metro from Blaine to Minneapolis to MSP Airport to Bloomington, Burnsville, and Prior Lake.  Rainfall totals topped an inch in spots which you can view in the images above as well.