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Large hail and damaging wind gusts possible with isolated severe storms today

It was another relatively cool start Tuesday with temperatures falling into the low 50’s. An incoming warm front will boost temperatures and an influx of moisture will spike dew points. It will feel hot and muggy most of the day.

This will lead to strong storms that could possibly develop into the mid morning hours. There are two scenarios shaping up with the potential for severe storms Tuesday:

1. Models are in agreement that storms across northern Minnesota will continue to move due east and dissipate into the morning hours. This would suggest that we won’t see the potential for an isolated storm until the late afternoon and early evening that would develop along the approaching cold front. Due to the elevated nature of these storms, new development would keep the severe threat lower. But —

2. With an influx of moisture growing very quickly throughout the morning and cooler temperatures filtering into the upper levels of the atmosphere, the instability will continue to grow early in the day leading to a higher thunderstorm threat. This instability will pool ahead of the approaching storms and allow them to continue southward into the Chippewa Valley, along and north of I-94, through midday. This would then make any isolated storms this afternoon much weaker, although not rule out an isolated severe storm.

Regardless how this scenario plays out, the Storm Prediction Center has the Chippewa Valley in a level 1, marginal risk, for severe weather. Storm threats include large hail and strong wind gusts. While a brief spin up tornado cannot be ruled out either.

Once this cold front moves in, high temperatures will fall into the mid to low 70’s and lows will fall below 50 for the rest of the week. We’ll get back into summer again next weekend.

Justin Esterly

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