A rare winter thunderstorm system will roar across the Upper Midwest today into Thursday, bringing high winds, rainfall, and a possible tornado for Minnesota and parts of Iowa.
The system should hit the Wright County area later tonight, bringing rain showers, possible thunderstorms and high winds. Accuweather is predicting straight-line winds of more than 40 MPH, with up to 60 MPH gusts possible, creating hazardous situations.
Weather officials are advising those with holiday decorations outside to deflate any inflatables, remove things that are not staked into the ground and beware of any electrical lines or cords. Those driving high profile vehicles – suchs a semi trailers or haulers – should also take caution this evening and be off the roads after 10 p.m.
“It’s a rare system for this area,” the National Weather Service stated. “Minnesota has never had a December tornado in recorded history. Iowa has, but it is extremely rare to have these conditions midway through the month.”
Power outages are expected around the Twin Cities area, especially where freezing rain falls and iced powerlines may fail. Here are some tips:
- Have water handy if you’re on a well. Power outages will limit supply and you won’t be able to flush toilets, shower, etc.
- Close curtains and blinds to conserve heat.
- If using a generator – always leave unit outdoors. NEver heat your home with a gas stove or oven.
- Flashlights are better than candles. Make sure you have batteries.
- Charge cell phones in advance of tonight’s weather.
- Close off rooms that are not being used. Have blankets or towels under doors and have extra clothes/blankets handy in case there is a prolonged outage.
Here’s a rundown from Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE-11.
Some graphics from NWS: