Thunderstorms blossomed over central and southwest Minnesota Tuesday afternoon. Large hail hammered the area from Albany to Sauk Centre, including St. Cloud and St. Joseph. Spotters reported hail up to an inch and three quarters in diameter, driven by winds exceeding 50 mph at times.
Two and half inches of rain fell at Sauk Rapids in Benton County.
Regional reports of severe weather available here. Hail pounded parts of southwest Minnesota as well.
Doppler radar rainfall estimates for the past 24 hours indicate where the most severe storms struck yesterday aftenoon and evening. Notice that portions of southern Minnesota tallied less than a quarter inch of rain. Around three quarters to one inch of precipitation fell in the Twin Cities metro area.
The water vapor satellite imagery from this morning shows the layered moisture has swept east and south of Minnesota. It will take a few hours for the atmosphere to regroup. We'll look for a boundary to likely set up along the Iowa/Minnesota border to be the focus for storm development this afternoon.
With sunshine today temperatures should response nicely, climbing well into the 70s.
Here's the severe weather outlook for today from the Storm Prediction Center. Notice the higher risk of nasty storms in Iowa.
Posted at 3:46 PM on May 2, 2012
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Severe weather
Mother Nature has yet to show all her cards for the potential development of strong thunderstorms this evening.
Yesterday's severe storms were a bit easier to predict. This afternoon, signs indicate that storms might be more likely to the south of Minnesota where the atmosphere is really juiced up. Dew points are well into the 60s in Iowa.
This graphic from the Storm Prediction Center from 3 p.m. CDT shows temperatures in the red lines and dew points in the green colors. Surface wind field is also included. The dew point at Mason City was 65 degrees at mid afternoon.
NOAA SPC is focusing the concern for severe weather along the boundary of 60 degree dew points and deeper moisture field to our south.
The visible satellite image from 3:45 p.m. CDT indicates were cloud layer boundaries are located. We are awaiting a trigger to advance at the mid levels of the atmosphere to ignite storms this evening. That makes it a little tough to rule out severe weather in the Twin Cities. The more intense storms should straddle the Iowa/Minnesota border.
Predicting the specific location and timing remains a work in progress. You'll want to stay tuned.
At 4 p.m. CDT the mercury was one degree shy of 80 degrees at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. If we reach 80 it will equal the high for this year recorded on March 17. No 80 degree reading was registered in April in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The normal high for the date is 65 degrees. It was 81 degrees at the Flying Cloud airport at 4 p.m. CDT.