It’s been a quiet year so far for severe weather in most of Minnesota. That’s a good thing. Rains have been ample in most areas, and if you can get the rain without the severe stuff that’s the best scenario. It doesn’t always work that way, so we’ve been blessed this year.
That may change Thursday, as our first widespread threat for severe storms pushes in. A warm front/cold front combo will deliver a potential 1-2 punch for the Upper Midwest Thursday. The main event looks like it may roll in Thursday evening with the cold front, but it looks like a lead warm front pushing through around midday Thursday may trigger a chance for a few storms as well.
Data shows that in recent decades, Minnesota has averaged about 40 tornado touchdowns per year. Mercifully, the first tornado did not touch down until a record late June 17th in Minnesota. We’ve had no tornadoes reported so far this year too. It may be ironic that the first real threat for a tornado somewhere in Minnesota may be Thursday…June 17th.
The primary threat Thursday will be high winds and hail, but toranodes cannot be ruled out, especially in west central Minnesota.
I was fortunate to be a part of the 2010 Minnesota SKYWARN workshop in April of this year. There are hundreds of dedicated and TRAINED severe weather spotters throughout Minnesota who spring into action and deploy around the state when severe weather threatens. They will be out in force Thursday as the potential for storms increases.
We can be thankful that they are in place. They provide critical observations to NWS to issue and enhance the quality of severe weather warnings.
Keep an eye on the sky Thursday as potential severe weather develops. We will have extra updates on MPR News stations as necessary.
As you travel around the region, you can hear MPR News on many stations in the Upper Midwest. Here is a map and list of where to tune into the MPR News regional network for severe weather updates.