Severe storms, oppressive heat on the way
The first of what could be several severe thunderstorms in the coming days was moving from Itasca into St. Louis County just before noon today as temperatures reached nearly 90 degrees.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for an area just south of Hibbing. The storms could affect the Iron Range and Duluth this afternoon.
That first round of thunderstorms is a precursor to even more violent weather expected early Thursday morning, the National Weather Service in Duluth reports, especially between 4 a.m.-10 a.m. Friday.
The storms are forecast to develop in the Dakotas and move eastward into northern Minnesota affecting areas generally north of U.S. Highway 2. The Weather Service says the main risks are damaging winds and torrential rain. Many parks and recreation areas in northern Minnesota are included in the severe weather risk, including but not limited to Chippewa National Forest, Voyageurs National Park, Kabetogama State Forest, Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Temperatures away from Lake Superior could hit close to 90 today and Friday.
Much of southern Minnesota remains under an excessive heat watch or warning, with temperatures expected to climb to near 100 degrees Friday with a heat index, with very high humidity factored-in, at more than 100 degrees.
Experts advise to avoid strenuous outdoor activities when it's that hot, drink plenty of water and keep an eye on children, seniors and pets.