Severe Storm Threat in the Northern Plains

July 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
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Severe thunderstorms will rumble across portions of the northern Plains later today into tonight. Besides threatening to spoil outdoor plans and making travel messy at times, the storms threaten to cause damage and endanger lives.

Storm Threat in the Plains Today

An area of low pressure is developing over northeastern Montana along the tail end of a cold front dropping southward across the Canadian Prairies. This will serve as the triggering mechanism for the storms, which will develop during the afternoon, while hot and humid air surging into the region acts as fuel.

The thunderstorms will erupt across portions of northeastern Montana, northern South Dakota and northern Minnesota as well as southern portions of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, Canada.

Severe thunderstorms can also erupt farther south during the evening in southeastern Montana, western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, but the storms will be much more isolated.

Threats will include damaging winds gusts over 60 mph, golf ball-sized hail and even larger and a few tornadoes.

Flash flooding can also occur in heavy downpours, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Grand Forks and Jamestown, N.D., and International Falls, Minn., are among the cities and towns at risk.

Storm Threat to Shift East into Midweek

Storms will spread farther south and east as the week goes on, bringing the threats of damaging storms to communities from South Dakota to Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Tuesday.

Parts of northern Ontario will also be under the gun of storms.

Again, the most violent storms will ignite during the peak heating hours of the afternoon.

Thunderstorms will spread back into flood-ravaged portions of the Midwest, including portions of Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin by Wednesday, following a dry break to start the week.

Chicago and Detroit may be at risk on Wednesday afternoon.

Related to the Story:

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North Central Radar

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