Severe Storm Watch until 1 AM (includes Twin Cities metro)
May 7, 2014 — 7:02pm
Severe Storm Watch Until 1 AM Thursday. Conditions are ripe for strong to severe storm over much of southern Minnesota as warm, moisture-laden air surges northward, coupled with powerful jet stream winds aloft. The watch includes Mankato, Rochester, Hutchinson and the Twin Cities. The greatest risk is large hail, but a few isolated tornadoes can't be ruled out, along with training echoes capable of flash flooding in some communities. Details from NOAA:
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 126 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 645 PM CDT WED MAY 7 2014 THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN MINNESOTA EXTREME WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN * EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY MORNING FROM 645 PM UNTIL 100 AM CDT. * PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE... SCATTERED LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE A TORNADO OR TWO POSSIBLE THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 55 STATUTE MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 20 MILES SOUTHWEST OF REDWOOD FALLS MINNESOTA TO 30 MILES NORTH NORTHEAST OF ROCHESTER MINNESOTA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU6). 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.
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Look at the bright side, we could be tracking tornadic thunderstorms....or flash flooding...or river flooding...or wildfires. A little slush won't hurt anyone on Monday, and whatever falls should be gone by Tuesday. 75-150 miles north and west of MSP may be a different story with enough snow to shovel and scrape, delighting locals! Hard to believe but we should be in the 60s next weekend as spring stages a comeback. Whew...
Oh brother. The entire weather blog should be a series of apologetic disclaimers today. We still don't know what we don't know, but models continue to suggest accumulating slush late in the weekend, especially Sunday night when we lose the sun's infrared radiation. No problems today; the sun may even peek through. Saturday looks tolerable, but Sunday will be a good Netflix-day with a cold rain mixing with or even changing to wet snow late. Monday, the 1st day of May, could bring plowable amounts of snow to portions of Minnesota. Where those heavy snow bands will set up is anyone's guess right now. Stay tuned.
Well, at least you won't be distracted by blue sky and chirping birds anytime soon - easier to focus on work, school and errands. Flurries may provide a mild jolt today; models still hinting at accumulating slush by Monday (but it's wildly premature to speculate about amounts). Spring fever returns in roughly one week. That's the thing about spring - across most of the USA it's taken as a foregone conclusion. Here in Minnesota, not so much. Minnesotans earn their springs.
We're paying a steep price for last weekend. I grant you it was very nice, especially Saturday, but I would have taken 10 degrees off the afternoon high temperature just to avoid saying the s-word again. Then again, July is the only month where snow hasn't been reported somewhere in Minnesota. Share that with a friend if you're hoping for shocked silence.
Monday turned out a little nicer than expected: low 70s with glimmers of sun. I think it sprinkled for 3 minutes or so. Not bad at all. We got all that "nice weather" out of the way, now it's time for a little payback, served runny and cold. Just rain today into much of Wednesday, but enough cold air may mix down for a slushy mix Wednesday PM, even an inch of snow close to the MSP metro by Thursday morning. Spring in Minnesota is a cool, cruel mistress. You'll see.