Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunny break, slight thunder threat by late evening

Saturday Update: 4:00 pm. Mother Nature is cutting us a break. After a gray, windy, soggy start, the day has gotten progressively better with time. Visible satellite imagery shows a swirl of dry, sun-filled air sweeping across much of central and eastern Minnesota, setting the stage for a few hours of blue sky through the dinner hour. But strong to severe storms are bubbling up across North Dakota, prevailing jet stream winds will push a few of these thunderheads into western, and then central MN by 6 or 7 pm, a tiny percentage of storms may survive the trip into the Twin Cities metro area after 7 or 8 pm, shortly before sunset. Although the greatest risk of large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be closer to the Dakota line, we can't rule out a few strong storms here well after the dinner hour. Stay alert, be ready to make a mad dash indoors early tonight (a car also provides a relatively safe place to ride out a storm). Sunday still looks cool, windy and drier overall, with morning sun giving way to a partly sunny afternoon. It will look and feel more like late September than late June.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for far northwestern MN until 9 pm Saturday evening.

Doppler Radar image showing strong thunderstorms west of Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls - these storms may drift into the St. Cloud area by evening, a few packing hail and gusty winds.

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