Wind, hail, isolated tornadoes possible for parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin

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There are a few big weather threats Friday in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

First, it will be the heat and humidity with the temperature soaring into the 90s, but dewpoints will be nearly off the charts today leading to a “feels like” temp of 105 degrees or more for much of central and southern Minnesota. It’s this heat and humidity that has a potential to lead to a significant severe weather outbreak Friday afternoon and evening for the central half of the state, which could include the greater Twin Cities metro area.

But, many of the above variables and the overall outcome Friday have huge contingencies on what happens with the cluster of storms moving through parts of northeastern South Dakota Friday morning. The added cloud cover associated with this line could lead to slightly cooler temps for some (although likely not enough to significantly decrease afternoon highs) but could also lay the groundwork for a rapidly changing and unexpected atmospheric environment late Friday afternoon and evening.

That said, a significant severe weather outbreak is becoming increasingly likely Friday afternoon and evening, especially from the Twin Cities metro and points northward where the Enhanced and Moderate Risk zones have been issued.

Storms will likely form on outflow boundaries (rain cooled air) from morning storms and/or the leading edge of a cold front that will be pushing through western Minnesota. Because of the heat and humidity along with plenty of wind shear, all severe weather modes are possible including large hail to baseball size, damaging winds in excess of 75 mph, and even isolated long lived and violent tornadoes.

These types of conditions are not particularly common in Minnesota and can lead to large severe weather outbreaks, however, they don’t always lead to significant severe storms and unfortunately there is no way to know for sure if a large outbreak will happen or not until it’s over.

This outlook just means that conditions are favorable for severe weather to occur and folks should review their severe storm procedures before Friday afternoon.


  • Key Threats: Damaging Wind Gusts (60 - 80 mph) Large Hail (Greater than 1” in diameter but could up to baseball size) Isolated Tornadoes (Large and long lived tornadoes possible)
  • Damaging Wind Gusts (60 - 80 mph)
  • Large Hail (Greater than 1” in diameter but could up to baseball size)
  • Isolated Tornadoes (Large and long lived tornadoes possible)
  • Secondary Threat: Heavy Rain (Local amounts greater than 2” possible)
  • Heavy Rain (Local amounts greater than 2” possible)

The overall severe weather risk for the area shows the greatest risk zone extending from central Minnesota through the North Metro and through much of northern Wisconsin. 

The overall risk for severe weather has also been broken down into individual categories to help illustrate where the greatest risk for these types of severe weather are located.

While the overall probability for each individual type of severe weather is greatest in the “highest risk areas," you can still get severe storms in the lower risk zones, there is just a lower probability. 

Hazardous Weather Outlook:

There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms Friday afternoon and Friday night, with large hail, damaging wind gusts, and tornadoes possible. Locally, excessive rainfall is also a possibility with thunderstorms today and tonight, and a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for east central and portions of south central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin.