Hot weather and severe storms, June 2, 2020

Combined radar loop from June 2, 2020.
Credit: National Weather Service, La Crosse, WI

The first truly summer-like air mass over Minnesota gave way to the first widespread severe weather event of the year, as thunderstorms with hail, strong winds, heavy rain, and isolated tornadoes pelted central and especially southern Minnesota on Tuesday June 2, 2020.

The heat surged in to Minnesota on the first of June, with high temperatures soaring into the 90s across much of the state. The National Weather Service cooperative observer in Milan (Chippewa County) recorded a high temperature of 98 degrees F, breaking the high temperature record for the date--previously set in 1940. Milan is one of Minnesota's longest-observing stations, with over 125 year of daily records. High temperatures into the 90s were recorded throughout western, central, and southern Minnesota. St. Cloud recorded a high temperature of 93, with the Twin Cities airport recording a high of 91 F.

The heat continued on June 2nd, with more highs in the 90s F in the southern 1/3 of Minnesota. Milan again reached 98 F, breaking another daily temperature record. The Twin Cities reached 90 degrees F.

A weak cold front with a wind shift pushed into central Minnesota early on Tuesday, igniting a slow-moving band of showers and thunderstorms that intensified gradually throughout the day as they shifted southeastward. A few of the storms began producing hail during the late morning, and during the early afternoon portions of Grant, Pope, and Stearns counties reported hail of 1 to 1.75 inches in diameter (quarter-sized to golf ball-sized).

The storms intensified further as they moved into the hotter and more humid air mass in southern Minnesota. The thunderstorms produced possible tornadoes in Blue Earth County, where golf ball to tennis ball-sized hail fell. Large hail continued with the storms throughout southeastern Minnesota, into Winona County.

The storms also began producing damaging winds in south-central Minnesota, with tree damage reported in Blue Earth, Waseca, Freeborn, and Houston counties, as the activity moved towards Wisconsin.


Modified June 3, 2020


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