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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The weather forecast for Wednesday in southern Minnesota is a bizarre one for mid-December.

Gusty winds from the south are predicted to develop Wednesday afternoon and push unseasonably and possibly record-setting warm air into the region. That warmth is forecast to push mercury to new record highs in the upper 50s in many communities, including Rochester where the current record high for December 15th is 52 degrees.

Robert Hoetink

The National Weather Service is predicting the winds will shift to the west tomorrow evening and into Thursday morning. Wind gusts of 65 miles per hour are possible and could result in power outages and hazardous driving conditions, particularly for anyone driving a high-profile vehicle. Forecasters are advising everyone to secure loose objects and holiday decorations in advance of the system.  A high wind warning will be in effect from 3 PM Wednesday until 3 AM Thursday.

Forecasters say the unusual weather could also spark the development of very fast-moving strong thunderstorms tomorrow evening. If severe weather develops, the National Weather Service says the storms could produce damaging winds and isolated tornadoes as they race across southern Minnesota at speeds of 60-70 miles per hour. Nearly all of the southeastern corner of the state is rated as having a higher risk for severe storms Wednesday evening.

Cooler air is expected to replace the potentially record warmth and storms by early Thursday. The morning low is expected to be in the upper 20s and an afternoon high in the low 30s is predicted.

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