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Storms possible across Northern Minnesota this week

Bright green farmland with a bright blue sky of clouds and a pending tornado.
Bob Conzemius, via
Troubling skies from Tornado Bob's series on 2023 summer weather, located 6.5 miles west of Waubun, Minnesota.

Bob Conzemius, also known as Tornado Bob on KAXE, is a meteorologist and wind energy expert and a weekly guest on the Tuesday Morning Show. Bob predicts Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8 will be stormy across much of northern Minnesota.

GRAND RAPIDS — The weather pattern this second week of May is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms in the next few days, with a less rainy pattern with time, according to KAXE’s "Tornado Bob" Conzemius on the KAXE Morning Show.

“We’ll be having this persistent upper-level trough in the western part of the country that we’ve had in the last couple of weeks,” Bob said Tuesday, May 7. “It’s enough to start catching us up a little bit on our moisture.”

Bob works in wind energy and also leads storm chasing trips. “Parts of the central U.S. were pretty active in terms of severe weather,” he said, explaining there were tornado warnings in Kansas and Iowa recently.

“Nothing here,” he said, “but we may actually get a thunderstorm.”

What exactly IS a thunderstorm?

Bob said instability in the atmosphere is needed to produce thunder.

“What has to happen is a deep layer, or reasonably deep, layer of charge," he said.

John Latimer, who cohosts on Tuesday mornings, said to Bob, “I know thunder is the result of a flash of lightning and the air collapsing back together and slapping and making the sound.”

“Or it could be the rapid expansion of air,” replied Bob.

This week’s forecast

Bob says the region will get a few days of rain and thunderstorms followed by average weather patterns.

“The pattern over recent years has been we get rain in the spring, it’s kind of wet in the spring, then it dries out in the summertime. ... Hopefully we'll get something better than last year," Bob said, referencing dry conditions in 2023.

“My lake is up probably 4 or 5 or 6 inches,” John said.

John and Bob love to dig deep on issues of weather and science. Like timing on thunder and lightning.

Bob said, "When you hear the thunder five seconds later, there's a lightning strike one mile away."

Listen to their conversation above for more scientific explanation of storms and weather patterns in Northern Minnesota, and help us out by sharing this story!

Has recent precipitation changed the lake or river levels where you are? Let us know!

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Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.