Stormy Night for Northern Minnesota

July 22, 2012; 8:23 PM ET
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Powerful thunderstorms capable of damaging winds and large hail will ignite across parts of the Upper Midwest Sunday night.

Heat and humidity has surged northward across Minnesota toward the Canadian border. Meanwhile, a cold front will approach form the west sparking potentially damaging thunderstorms.

Cities and towns in the threat zone include Detroit Lakes, Minn., Grand Rapids, Minn., Embarrass, Minn., and International Falls, Minn. Residents will need to keep their eyes to the sky and be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.

The greatest threats from thunderstorms will be blinding downpours and large hail. Thunderstorm wind gusts past 60 mph and hail larger than quarters will accompany the strongest storms.

There could even be a brief tornado touchdown capable of causing significant damage.

Torrential downpours will make driving especially difficult this afternoon and evening. Those who will be driving along Routes 1, 2, 6, 53, and 71 in Minnesota should use extreme caution and slow down during times of intensely heavy rain.

Moreover, heavy rain can cause flash flooding problems, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Never cross a water-covered roadway.

Thunderstorms will eventually track into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin.

Thunderstorms don't have to turn severe to become deadly. Dangerous lightning accompanies even the weakest storms. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Seek shelter indoors immediately.

Vacationers in or heading to the many resorts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will want to keep track of the storms throughout Sunday night. Don't be caught outside near a body of water during a thunderstorm.

A cold front will pass through the region later tonight, ushering cooler and drier air into the region for the start of the new week. However, hot and steamy air ahead of the front will set the stage for thunderstorms to explode and cause damage.

Heed all watches and warnings and be sure to have a plan of action before severe weather strikes. Know where to go and what to do in order to keep you and your family safe.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com for all of the latest severe weather updates.

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