Posted at 8:15 AM on June 17, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Storm Prediction Center (SPC) convective outlook today puts part of Minnesota in a slight risk for severe storms.
After the latest start to severe weather season on record, the risk for severe storms is on the increase today in southern Minnesota. Early morning thunderstorms have already gone severe south of Redwood Falls. There is the potential that storms may develop and move into eastern Minnesota later this morning.
The atmosphere is unstable enough to support a few severe storms through Thursday. The primary threat from these storms will be damaging winds and large hail, but an isolated tornado or two is possible. It appears the highest threat for severe storms is south of Minnesota into parts of Iowa and Nebraska today. Tornadoes were sighted yesterday in the Dakotas.
The pattern shift this week has brought much needed rainfall to the area. Twin Cities Airport picked up .66" of rain yesterday. Eden Prairie received .78" of nice slow soaking rain. Much drought stricken southern Minnesota saw between half and inch to over an inch of rain.
Here are some resources to track storms today.
Keep an eye to the sky later today!
Posted at 3:05 PM on June 17, 2009
by Paul Huttner
SPC convective outlook expands today's slight risk for severe storms eastward to include the Twin Cities metro area.
A complex and potentially severe weather scenario is unfolding for the next 48 hours in the Upper Midwest.
A series of upper air impulses will move through between now and Friday. Each one will bring a chance of thunderstorms to the region. The timing of each wave will determine rain chances. But other complex factors will determine how many showers and storms are produced, and if they are severe.
Here are some of the forecast questions over the next 48 hours:
-When will the individual waves move through?
-How strong will each one be?
-Will cloud cover limit surface heating?
-Will thunderstorm complexes to the south rob moisture from potential storms in Minnesota?
-Will a large mesoscale convective system (MCS) form Thursday and produce a "bow echo" like damaging wind event for southern Minnesota?
-Will we see storms with heavy rainfall that have the capability to produce multi-inch flash flood events?
All of these scenarios are possible. This is why severe storms forecasting is just as much art as science. It's also why "nowcasting" or the business of short term forecasts and updates over the next few hours become more important.
The bottom line is to expect the possibility of storms over the next 48 hours, and to keep a heads up for the latest potential watches and warnings.
Posted at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2009
by Paul Huttner
A severe storm spotter reports the first tornado of the year touched down in Minnesota this afternoon. Radar indicated tornado warnings were in effect before the tornado was sighted.
The tornado touched down 4 miles west of Nashua in Wilkin County near the Traverse County line. Nashua is in west central Minnesota west of I-94 about 30 miles southwest of Fergus Falls.
So far there are no reports of damage or injuries.
This is the third latest date that the first tornado of the year has occurred in Minnesota. The latest date was June 23, 1952 when a tornado touched down in Swift County.
Posted at 10:53 PM on June 17, 2009
by Paul Huttner
NWS storm reports show Wednesday's severe weather outbreak.
It appears at least two and possibly three or more tornadoes skipped across southern Minnesota Wednesday evening. Thunderstorms with strong rotation developed rapidly between 7pm and 8pm, producing large hail and tornado reports.
Here is a summary of the tornado reports from the NWS. Some may be duplicate reports of the same tornado.
0730 PM TORNADO GENEVA 43.82N 93.27W
06/17/2009 FREEBORN MN LAW ENFORCEMENT
CONDENSATION FUNNEL CLOSE TO GROUND. DEBRIS CLOUD NOTED
DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH. TREES DAMAGED ON EAST EDGE OF
0754 PM TORNADO 3 N BLOOMING PRAIRIE 43.91N 93.05W
06/17/2009 STEELE MN LAW ENFORCEMENT
TORNADO JUST NORTH OF BLOOMING PRAIRIE
0803 PM TORNADO 5 NE WASECA 44.13N 93.43W
06/17/2009 WASECA MN AMATEUR RADIO
DEBRIS IN THE AIR AND ON THE GROUND.
0808 PM TORNADO 1 NW AUSTIN 43.68N 92.98W
06/17/2009 MOWER MN TRAINED SPOTTER
LARGE TORNADO ON THE GROUND WITH DEBRIS ON THE NORTHWEST
SIDE OF AUSTIN
0810 PM TORNADO AUSTIN 43.67N 92.97W
06/17/2009 MOWER MN LAW ENFORCEMENT
LARGE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE IN AUSTIN AND ESPECIALLY ON THE
NORTH SIDE. MINOR INJURIES BEING REPORTED THUS FAR.
0814 PM TORNADO 2 S MORRISTOWN 44.20N 93.44W
06/17/2009 WASECA MN TRAINED SPOTTER
MULTIPLE VORTEX TORNADO.
0814 PM TORNADO 1 E WASECA 44.08N 93.48W
06/17/2009 WASECA MN STORM CHASER
TOUCHED DOWN ON CLEAR LAKE THEN MOVED ONSHORE. TREE DOWN
BUT NO PROPERTY DAMAGE.
NWS survey teams will determine how many tornadoes actually touched down, They will also report on path length and width and EF scale ratings and wind speed estimates for the tornadoes.