A very strong line of thunderstorms is entering the Minneapolis/St. Paul area from the west, and should be in the immediate metro area within the next hour or two.
I'll keep updating this diary as a liveblog as the storms approach the MSP area. Stay safe, everyone.
114AM CDT: All severe thunderstorm warnings have been allowed to expire. Although impressive (and ominous) looking on radar, it's no longer severe. It'll still produce heavy rain, gusty winds, and frequent lightning.
1218AM CDT: Wind damage reports so far. The damage and wind measurements confirm a swath of 60-65 MPH winds across the MSP metro area. More damage will likely be reported once daylight sets in. The line of severe storms will continue to move into western Wisconsin through the overnight hours.
1100PM CDT: 61 MPH wind gust reported on the southern shore of Lake Waconia. The radar measured 70-80 MPH winds as it approached the radar site and NWS office in Chanhassen.
1047PM CDT: The worst of it is about to enter the western MSP suburbs. The radar is detecting winds of 80-85 MPH just 500 feet off the ground near Waconia, MN. That's not very high and it wouldn't take much to translate that to the surface.
8:16 PM PT: This line of storms is called a "mesoscale convective system," or more commonly a "squall line." It's an organized complex/line of thunderstorms that can produce very strong winds.This line of storms is not a derecho. A derecho has to produce damage over 240 miles, and this line hasn't come anywhere close to that. However, it's still capable of producing severe and damaging winds in excess of 60 MPH.
Here are the storms as of 10:03PM CDT:
And here's the same radar image, but velocities (radar detected winds within the storm) in knots:
The yellow boxes are severe thunderstorm warnings, with alerts up for 60+ MPH winds. The velocities on radar are concerning me, however, because the winds are approaching 75 MPH about 3000 feet above ground level.