Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The low pressure system that pulled the hot and sticky air in the southeastern Minnesota on Wednesday is expected to spark strong storms across the region Thursday afternoon and Thursday night.

The National Weather Service says there is a potential for 2 to 3 inches of rain throughout southeastern Minnesota and some storms could produce rainfall rates exceeding two inches per hour. The weather system began producing heavy storms in parts of central and northern Minnesota Wednesday afternoon and flash flood watches have already been posted for most of the central third of the state.

The high humidity pushed the “feels like” readings above 100 degrees in parts of southeastern Minnesota on Thursday. Winona, Lake City and portions of Houston County saw the heat index rise above the century mark while many other cities had readings in the mid to upper 90s.