Soil and water

Thunderstorms sometimes overnight and early on Saturday; bad weather is possible

Parts of Minnesota experienced severe thunderstorms and heavy rain Thursday night, and another batch of strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to ripple across Minnesota Friday night through early Saturday.

Here’s an excerpt from the Minnesota State Bureau of Climatology’s message about Thursday night’s showers in central Minnesota:

The storms slowly developed southward, with new cells forming on the western side of the complex and moving over previously affected areas. This led to prolonged and recurring bouts of intense precipitation, with rain totals well over three inches northwest of Little Falls, as well as St. Cloud and nearby communities. A small area near Randall and Cushing received extraordinary rainfall totals, causing US Highway 10 to be closed in both directions due to flooding in the area.

The highest rainfall total received was from the Soil & Water Conservation District‘s rain gauge reader near Cushing, and will be marked as “11 inches”, because the observer had noted that the rain had reached the 11 inch capacity of the rain gauge and that extra rain was just coming out of it. It is unclear how much rain actually fell. Another observer from the same network in Randall recorded 7.40 inches.

In the St. Cloud area, a CoCoRaHS observer at Sartell reported 7.11 inches, with 5.93 inches reported northwest of town, 5.50, and 4.86 inches at Sauk Rapids, 4, 61 inches reported at St. Joseph and 4.20 inches reported at St. Cloud proper. As of 9 a.m., St. Cloud Airport, several miles east of the city, recorded 3.81 inches.

Here is additional information on the heavy rains that fell on Thursday evening:

With saturated soils in central Minnesota, it wouldn’t take much additional rain to cause further flooding. There is a flood watch for several counties in central Minnesota from 10 p.m. this Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday:

Vigilance crue (green) from Friday 10 p.m. to Saturday 8 a.m.

National Weather Service

Severe weather outlook Friday evening/early Saturday

A cold front will roll out of the Dakotas Friday evening, and it will ignite areas of thunderstorms that will spread eastward Friday evening and overnight, persisting in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin through Saturday morning. Severe weather is expected, with the highest likelihood of severe weather in the west.

A severe thunderstorm watch continues through 9 p.m. Friday across much of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota:

I expect more severe weather watches to be issued by the NWS Storm Prediction Center Friday night.


7:30 p.m. Friday update

The NWS Storm Prediction Center issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of western, central, and northern Minnesota through 3 a.m. Saturday:

Here are the details of the severe thunderstorm watch:

URGENT – IMMEDIATE RELEASE REQUESTED Severe Thunderstorm Watch Number 409 NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 715 PM CDT Fri June 24, 2022 The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a *Severe Thunderstorm Watch for parts of the North, Central and From Western Minnesota Southeast North Dakota Eastern South Dakota *Effective this Friday evening and Saturday morning from 7:15 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. CDT. *Primary threats include… Widespread damaging winds and isolated strong gusts up to 80 mph likely Scattered large hail and isolated episodes of very large hail up to 2 inches in diameter possible A tornado or two SUMMARY…Several clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms initially over Watches 407 and 408 are expected to merge, with further development possible as activity spreads through this watch area. The main threat will be strong gusts – potentially 75mph or more locally – but sporadic large hail can still occur. A tornado also cannot be ruled out, especially in northern areas near a receding flow boundary. The Severe Thunderstorm Watch Zone extends approximately along and 100 statute miles east and west of a line running 40 miles south-southwest of Mitchell SD to 70 miles north- west of Ely MN. For a full description of the watch, see the associated watch plan update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU9). PRECAUTIONS/PREPAREDNESS… REMEMBER… A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms in and near the watch area. People in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen to subsequent statements and possible warnings. Severe thunderstorms can and sometimes do produce tornadoes. && OTHER WATCH INFORMATION…CONTINUE…WW 407…WW 408… AVIATION…A few severe thunderstorms with hail at the surface and aloft up to 2 inches. Extreme turbulence and surface wind gusts to 70 knots. A few cumulonimbi with peak highs at 600. Storm mean motion vector 27035.

Additional extreme weather watches may be issued by the NWS Storm Prediction Center on Friday evening.


The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center shows an increased risk of severe weather Friday night and through Friday night (which ends at 7 a.m. Saturday) in northwest and west-central Minnesota, with a slight Severe weather risk (shaded yellow) from north-central to southwestern Minnesota:


Severe weather forecast Friday evening, early Saturday morning

NWS Storm Prediction Center

The threat assessment and details on what to expect and what to do are provided by the NWS Twin Cities office.

Higher risk means many severe thunderstorms are possible, low risk means scattered severe thunderstorms are possible:


Severe Weather Hazard Categories

NWS Storm Prediction Center

Most of the Twin Cities metro area, along with the rest of eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, has a marginal risk of severe weather from Friday evening through early Saturday; which means an isolated severe thunderstorm is possible. Our best chance for thunderstorms in the metro area comes sometime after midnight Friday night, with a lingering chance of thunderstorms early Saturday morning.

You can hear updated weather information for Minnesota and western Wisconsin on the Minnesota Public Radio News Network, and you can see updated weather information on the MPR News live weather blog. It’s good to have a reliable NOAA weather radio or weather alert app available to wake you up when warnings are issued for your area while you sleep.

Saturday highs will be in the lower 80s in the Twin Cities as well as southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, with high 70s elsewhere:


Highs expected on Saturday

National Weather Service

Saturday afternoon dew points will be in the sticky 60s in the southeast, with more comfortable 50s in the northwest:


Dew points forecast Saturday at 1 p.m.

National Weather Service

Sunday highs will be in the 60s in roughly the northern third of Minnesota, with high 70s elsewhere:


Highs expected on Sunday

National Weather Service

Sunday dew points will be in the very comfortable 40s:


Sunday 1 p.m. dew point forecast

National Weather Service

Back to forecast high temperatures, highs for the Twin Cities metro area are expected to reach the lower 80s on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the upper 80s on Wednesday and Thursday, then lower 80s on Friday.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35am, 9:35am and 4:39pm every Saturday and Sunday.