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Thunderstorms are impacting the southwest metro and greater Twin Cities area today. 

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for much of central Minnesota as severe thunderstorms roll into the area. The watch is active until 10 p.m. Friday.

The NWS Twin Cities Twitter account said the storms have the potential to create scattered apple sized hail, winds up to 80 mph and a couple of strong tornadoes.

According to the watch posted on the account, 4,755,243 people, 1,976 schools, and 111 hospitals are included in the at risk area.

At 3:15 p.m. the service announced a tornado warning was in effect for Little Falls, Bowerville, and Randall until 4 p.m.

The following counties are included in the watch:

  • Aitkin
  • Anoka
  • Benton
  • Big Stone
  • Carlton
  • Carver
  • Cass
  • Chippewa
  • Chisago
  • Crow Wing
  • Dakota
  • Douglas
  • Grant
  • Hennepin
  • Isanti
  • Kanabec
  • Kandiyohi
  • Lac Qui Parle
  • Mcleod
  • Meeker
  • Mille Lacs
  • Morrison
  • Otter Tail
  • Pine
  • Pope
  • Ramsey
  • Renville
  • Scott
  • Sherbune
  • Sibley
  • Stearns
  • Stevens
  • Swift
  • Todd
  • Traverse
  • Wadena
  • Washington
  • Wilkin
  • Wright
  • Yellow Medicine

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Meg Britton-Mehlisch is a regional reporter covering Scott County for Southwest News Media.

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