Severe threat Thursday

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


  • Chris B. Critter

    While MPR does appear to cover much the state with its radio signals, it has only one or two meteorologists who have to watch the entire state. There are six NWS WFOs watching the weather in Minnesota, and most, if not all of them will have their eyes on the storms, with at least two people in each office keeping abreast of the situation and issuing products. They also coordinate reports from the trained storm spotter you mentioned.

    Sorry, Paul, but I’m going to tell my mom on the Range to stay close to her weather radio tomorrow, and I will do the same here in the Cities.

    P.S. Idaho? Really?

  • Paul Huttner


    You are probably not aware that in addition to myself and Craig Edwards, MPR also has a team of over 20 meteorologists dedicated to watch and warn for severe weather on a 24/7 basis over our entire network.

    They cover the entire MPR regional network for severe weather exclusively. They issue warnings as they occur anytime…day or night. You probably don’t hear them unless you listen outside the metro.

    And there are actually 7 NWS WFO’s that cover the MPR regional network area, not including Boise of course. (GFK, FSD, DSM,LSE,MPX,DLH,MQT)

    No offense intended, but you may not be as aware of the internal workings of our weather coverage as you profess. MPR listeners should rest assured that we have severe weather staffed across the entire regional network.

    NOAA weather radio is always a top source for warnings, especially with the tone alert feature. But MPR News is also a credible source for warnings and situational updates.


  • Catherine

    I just want to say my kudos to the MPR weather team. I live in the metro and usually turn in to an MPR station or WCCO for weather updates.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for just rain in the metro tomorrow!

  • Chris B. Critter

    You’re right, Paul, I was unaware of the depth of the MPR weather team. I apologize and stand corrected.