Unprecedented severe weather threat for parts of Minnesota, Iowa

More than 8 inches of snow fell in part of risk area last Friday

Fast-moving tornadoes and damaging winds will be possible. An unprecedented severe weather will likely unfold Wednesday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – On the heels of last Friday’s historic tornado outbreak in the nation’s heartland, another round of severe weather is possible in the U.S. This time, however, it could happen in an extremely unlikely location: the Upper Midwest.

A potent storm system moving out of the Four Corners region will bring the chance for strong storms and extreme winds to the western two-thirds of the country.

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Severe weather setup

Parts of Minnesota and Iowa have been highlighted in the moderate risk (4/5) category for severe weather. The severe threat includes the potential for fast-moving tornadoes and wind gusts exceeding 80 mph.

There has never been a tornado reported in Minnesota during the winter months of December, January, and February in recorded history. To date, the latest confirmed tornado in Minnesota occurred Nov 16, 1931.

Future radar shows a line of supercell thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes. Storms will be moving 60-75 mph.

Storms will be racing east between 60-70 mph aided by very strong upper-level winds.

Just last Friday, on the cold side of the system that brought deadly tornadoes to several states, parts Minnesota received 8-18 inches of snow. As of Wednesday morning, more than 4 inches of snow remained on the ground.

Snow depth as of Wednesday morning

In addition to the severe weather potential in the Upper Midwest, a widespread damaging wind event will likely unfold across the Front Range and plains. Non-thunderstorm wind gusts could exceed 75 mph.

Wind gusts Wednesday

High wind warnings blanket much of the central U.S.

High wind warning

The damaging wind threat will move east into the Great Lakes region late Wednesday into Thursday.


About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.