It will be mostly cloudy and warmer Thursday as we climb to the 80s in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Storms flared up in the morning and again in the afternoon, and forecasts indicate an increased chance for severe weather later in the day. There will also be a risk of hail, high winds and possibly tornado conditions through the evening. The storms should fade away Thursday night.
Heavy rains brought floods to Northfield, Minn., on Wednesday, with water closing County Road 19 on the Carleton College campus.
A few homes in Apple Valley were damaged on Thursday morning when lightning struck a tree -- but didn't stop there.
Dick Julander told FOX 9 News he was sitting in his garage when he saw a bolt of lightning hit a neighbors tree two doors down and watched the electricity travel into the ground, through the gas line and blow off gas meters at five houses -- including his own.
"I was here in the garage and I heard the lightning and saw a flash of light," he recalled. "I thought it was Armageddon. I mean, it scared the daylights out of me."
Soon after, Julander said he smelled gas and ran out into the pouring rain to call 911.
"Flames were shooting out of that house there like a blow torch," he said.
CenterPoint crews responded to the scene and the flames were safely extinguished.
WEATHER TIMELINE: THURSDAY, JUNE 14
Thunderstorms continued to move across central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin in the morning. The strongest of these storms produced inch-thick hail along and heavy downpours, along with lightning.
The severe weather threat increases when a warm front lifts north and adds warm air and moisture to the atmosphere.
There is a slight risk for severe weather Thursday afternoon and evening. Hail, damaging straight line winds and even a couple tornadoes can not be ruled out.
The best tornado threat is concentrated in east central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. This includes the Twin Cities metro area. The hail and wind threat is expected over a much larger portion of Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Timing for severe weather is between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.