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Complex weather pattern prompts Twin Cities NWS to send up special balloon launch

Midday cloud cover may push storm development into late night hours.

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A highly complex severe storms scenario across Minnesota has the Twin Cities National Weather Service and other meteorologists searching for additional answers. 

The NWS office in Chanhassen launched an unscheduled special weather balloon Wednesday at 2 p.m. to gather additional data on storm chances overnight.

Data gathered from the weather balloon’s instrument package shows a strong “cap” in the lower atmosphere that may delay or prevent thunderstorm formation in some areas. That could push thunderstorm chances for the Twin Cities into the late evening or overnight hours. 

Possible watch for western Minnesota

The sun has been out longer in western Minnesota. That means storm chances there are higher as the atmosphere has more time to destabilize. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center paints a 60 percent chance for a storm watch across western Minnesota.

Models playing catch up

The short-range mesoscale models are paying catch up as thew atmosphere changes by the hour.  The latest models favor storms developing later Wednesday night. The flash flood watch remains in effect.

Stay tuned for possible storms late Wednesday night.