A potential for a severe storm, with large hail and damaging winds is expected to go through the Brainerd area around 3-5 p.m. Friday, July 19, and then extend to the Hinckley area about 4-7 p.m. then to Hayward, Wis., about 5-8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
The first area of storms hit east of Mille Lacs Lake, as of 2:10 p.m. Friday, and continue to develop in central Minnesota. The NWS reports the storm is expected to be fast moving and severe, with damaging winds of 40-50 mph. The storm will start to develop and intensify across central Minnesota, tracking east to east-northeast towards the I-35 corridor between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports, including the Brainerd area.
Showers and thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon until 9 p.m. in the Brainerd area, with a slight chance from 9-10 p.m. Thunderstorms are possible again between 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, with a partly sunny skies with a high near 80.
The NWS states large hail and tornadoes are possible across parts of the Northland. There may be a risk to life and property, with severe damage to trees, building and the power grid. The NWS advises people to not wait around for the storms to get close, as if a warning is issued, people should take shelter immediately.
There is potential for flash flooding, but it is a lower threat due to the storms moving quickly. It is more likely for a potential of a brief urban flooding of streets due to heavy rainfall.
The NWS states Brainerd may see a quarter-inch of rain.
Overall -- the NWS reports its safety message Friday is residents need to take this storm seriously. People need to know where they should go if the weather becomes severe in their area. Meteorologists advise people to not take shelter in a tent or a camper and to stay away from windows. People should have a weather radio turned on with batteries installed, their phones should be charged and a weather app should be downloaded.
UPDATE:The NWS just issued a tornado watch effective until 10 p.m. Friday in Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison, Cass, Todd and Wadena counties and in east and north central Minnesota.