Ripe For Hail, Damaging Winds, Isolated Tornadoes. NOAA SPC has issued a Severe Storm Watch until midnight, including Brainerd, Bemidji, Hibbing and Duluth. Details:
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 420 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 455 PM CDT THU JUL 18 2013 THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF NORTHERN MINNESOTA NORTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKE SUPERIOR * EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY AFTERNOON FROM 455 PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT. * PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE... SEVERAL SIGNIFICANT DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 75 MPH POSSIBLE SEVERAL VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE A FEW TORNADOES POSSIBLE THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 50 STATUTE MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 70 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BEMIDJI MINNESOTA TO 50 MILES NORTHEAST OF GRAND MARAIS MINNESOTA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU0). PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY DO PRODUCE TORNADOES. && DISCUSSION...THUNDERSTORMS ARE BEGINNING TO FORM ALONG THE COLD FRONT OVER NORTHERN MN. THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD TRACK EASTWARD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THROUGH THE EVENING. A FEW SUPERCELLS AND BOW STRUCTURES ARE POSSIBLE WITH A RISK OF VERY LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS. AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 3 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 65 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 500. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 27035.
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More From Paul Douglas on Weather
Natural variability, El Nino kicking in - many factors may explain why it's been in the 70s and 80s out east (with tornadoes in unusual places for February). Minnesota just experienced the warmest, most prolonged February warmth on record (since 1871). A fluke? Perhaps, but what we're witnessing is consistent with a slowly warming planet. Hate to keep banging the drum, but ignoring the trends won't make them go away.
How did you cope with the (fake) Blizzard of '17? Residents of the metro are rolling their eyes, but 75 miles southeast of MSP it was a full-blown blizzard with a foot of snow, ice and high winds creating treacherous travel conditions. Which is vaguely interesting, but it didn't happen in my yard, so it doesn't matter, right? I get it: all weather, like politics, is local. The sun comes out today with less wind; temperatures moderating into the low 40s early next week.
Back on Monday I predicted "a couple of inches" for today. Then some of NOAA's models began showing crazy amounts of snow, as much as 12-15" in the immediate metro, so I ratcheted up expected snowfall amounts (you can't ignore the NAM model, right?) Turns out my initial instincts were closer to the mark. Heaviest snow bands set up south of the metro with a full-blown blizzard over southern Minnesota. Yet another example where the ECMWF (European) outperforms NOAA's models. Which doesn't make me happy, btw.
Storm To Take Southerly Track - MSP Metro Advisory for Couple Inches - Blizzard Far Southern Minnesota
You just knew this was going to happen...
There's still a chance of 10 or 12" of snow in the metro, although the odds have dropped a bit as some of NOAA's models catch up with a southward shift in the ECWMF (European) guidance package. The Twin Cities are on the northern edge of plowable snow amounts with the one-foot-plus amounts south of the Minnesota River. Confidence levels are still low for a storm less than 18 hours away - models are all over the map. Literally. This is why meteorologists show up at the isobar some nights.