(Mankato, MN) – A large portion of Minnesota is under watch as severe storms move into the area Thursday.

The National Weather Service has put Mankato and all of Blue Earth County under a severe storm watch until 1 p.m. Thirty-nine Minnesota counties are included in the watch, including Nicollet, Waseca, Brown, Watonwan, and Rice Counties

Storms are expected to arrive in the western part of the state around 9 a.m. Thursday morning, with the worst weather expected to exit the area around noon.  However, more storms are expected to develop in the afternoon.

NWS says the main threats of the storm will be damaging winds and large hail.  Isolated tornadoes are also possible.  A wave of intense heat will following the storms, bringing temperatures in the 90’s, with dangerous heat indexes over the weekend.

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