The corridor from near New Ulm to Zumbrota was clobbered with hail up to two and a half inches in diameter late Wednesday afternoon. Ouch! And Tuesday's storms brought large hail on a swath from Sauk Centre to near Princeton on the order of two inches in diameter.
Storm reports from NWS Chanhassen. Check out previous versions.
In a separate overnight storm, Milan, in Chippewa County, reported two inch diameter hail.
More storms at daybreak were producing large hail southeast of Fergus Falls. These storms were racing quickly east toward Brainerd and St. Cloud
Raindrops violently tossed in the updrafts of thunderstorms can accumulate ice layers in the cold air in the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere. Tops of the thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon were above 40,000 feet in southern Minnesota. Commercial aircraft top out at that level for their cruising altitude.
This graphic from Weatherunderground depicts the accumulated precipitation beginning May 2nd and ending at 630 a.m. CDT. Note the track of severe storms in the brighter yellow and orange. These storms produced heavy rainfall as well as large hail. Two and a half inches of rain fell in a short time yesterday afternoon eight miles northwest of New Ulm. Nearly two inches of rain was measured at Zumbrota.
Lighter rainfall occurred in the Minnesota Arrowhead region in the past 24 hours.
The Minnesota State Climate Office released the hydrological update yesterday. You can read the entire report here.
Recent moisture has helped put a dent in the drought, but there are still areas that need moisture to recover from the seven-month deficit. From the report:
April 2012 precipitation totals were above normal in portions of west central, north central, and northeast Minnesota. Elsewhere, monthly precipitation totals were near the historical average. It was only the second month since July 2011 where monthly precipitation totals were near to above average.
Periods of showers and thunderstorms are in the weather picture through the weekend. Here's the potential rainfall for the next three days.
Look for more storms this afternoon/evening. The atmosphere remains "juicy".