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Residents across the central United States will need to be on alert for damaging thunderstorms to erupt into Thursday evening.
The threat for severe weather will also extend into a portion of southeastern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, and southwestern Ontario.
A surge of warmth and moisture ahead of an approaching system will kick the storms into gear.
“Severe thunderstorms will move through the northern and central Plains into Thursday evening,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards.
One severe storm tracked through Minneapolis on Thursday evening, bringing quarter-sized hail and wind gusts up to 60 mph.
So far this spring, severe weather events have largely stayed to the south and west of Minnesota, but the state will be right in the heart of the threat zone late Thursday.
While Edwards does not anticipate a widespread outbreak of severe weather, he warned that any areas that do get impacted can expect damaging wind gusts, hail and torrential downpours.
“Downed power lines and tree limbs are possible in the worst storms,” Edwards said.
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People traveling on secondary roads should be wary of these hazards, as well as be prepared to face reduced visibility from the downpours. Some roads may also be covered by hail.
Early holiday travelers could be slowed on stretches of interstates 29, 35, 80, 90 and 94.
Edwards is concerned that a separate zone of feisty storms may take shape farther south over western and northern Kansas and continue into the overnight hours. Similar to the storms farther north, gusty winds, hail and blinding downpours will be the most widespread impacts.
The risk for severe weather will not end with Thursday nor will the passage of the storms work to whisk away the warmth.
A few storms may turn locally gusty with hail across the central Plains and upper Mississippi Valley to close out the workweek.
The hottest stretch of weather so far this season then awaits during the holiday weekend.
Temperatures in Minneapolis; Fargo, North Dakota; Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa, will all soar well into the 90s and challenge record highs.
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