Tornado Watch until 11 PM. The new watch includes Brainerd, St. Cloud, Duluth and the Twin Cities. More details to come...
Slight Risk. NOAA SPC has much of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Brainerd and Duluth in a slight risk area, meaning a high probability of storms capable of large (1"+) hail and damaging straight-line winds.
Latest Mesoscale Discussion. There's enough instability, low level moisture and wind shear for a squall line of severe storms to get going over the next few hours. Here's more detail from SPC:
PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT SUMMARY...THE INITIATION OF ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED SUPERCELLS APPEARS INCREASINGLY LIKELY ACROSS WESTERN INTO CENTRAL MINNESOTA DURING THE 20-22Z TIME FRAME...WITH ACTIVITY DEVELOPING NORTHEASTWARD AND EASTWARD THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE AFTERNOON. THIS WILL INCLUDE THE RISK FOR TORNADOES...PARTICULARLY NEAR/NORTH AND EAST OF THE BRAINERD AND ST. CLOUD AREAS LATE THIS AFTERNOON. DISCUSSION...BENEATH A POCKET OF MODESTLY STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES...CAPE FOR MOIST BOUNDARY PARCELS /WITH SURFACE DEW POINTS AROUND 70F/ APPEARS TO BE INCREASING IN EXCESS OF 2000 J/KG ACROSS WESTERN ...CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA. WITH ADDITIONAL SURFACE HEATING...LARGE-SCALE ASCENT...DOWNSTREAM OF THE CLOSED LOW SLOWLY MIGRATING EAST NORTHEASTWARD INTO THE WESTERN DAKOTAS...IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO ERODE LINGERING CONVECTIVE INHIBITION. AND THE LATEST RAPID REFRESH/HIGH RESOLUTION RAPID REFRESH OUTPUT ARE INCREASINGLY SUGGESTIVE THAT THIS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE INITIATION OF ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED STORM DEVELOPMENT AS EARLY AS THE 20-22Z TIME FRAME ACROSS WESTERN INTO CENTRAL MINNESOTA. AS INCREASINGLY CYCLONIC...SOUTHWESTERLY LOWER/MID TROPOSPHERIC FLOW STRENGTHENS TO 40-50 KTS...DEEP LAYER VERTICAL SHEAR SHOULD BE MORE THAN SUFFICIENT FOR SUPERCELLS...WHICH WILL TEND TO DEVELOP NORTHEAST/EASTWARD THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE AFTERNOON. ALTHOUGH SOUTHERLY 850 MB FLOW IS SOMEWHAT MODEST IN STRENGTH /25-35 KT/...AND MAY CONTINUE TO SLOWLY WEAKEN AND VEER WITH TIME...A BAROCLINIC ZONE ON THE WESTERN PERIPHERY OF COOLER...BUT MODIFYING...AIR /INFLUENCED BY LAKE SUPERIOR/ MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE RISK FOR TORNADOES AS STORMS CROSS IT. THIS THREAT SEEMS MOST LIKELY TO BECOME FOCUSED NEAR/NORTH AND EAST OF THE BRAINERD AND ST. CLOUD AREAS LATE THIS AFTERNOON.
Visible Cloud Loop. High-res 1 KM imagery as of 2:43 PM shows thunderstorms breaking through the cap; conditions ripe for a few lines of strong to severe storms into the evening hours. Stay alert and stay tuned for updates. Loop: HAMweather.