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A major severe weather event is set to unfold across the northern U.S. Plains and Canadian Prairies on Monday night with the potential for large and damaging tornadoes.
The threat will come as a potent storm system swings eastward out of the Rockies, providing ample energy for severe thunderstorms to tap into an area of moisture from southern Manitoba to Kansas.
"There will be a lot of energy clashing with a surge of heat and humidity coming northward from the Plains," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
All of this energy will contribute to the intensity of the thunderstorms into Tuesday, bringing the threat of tornadoes.
In addition to tornadoes, thunderstorms are also expected to produce damaging winds, hail, frequent lightning and torrential downpours as they develop and roll eastward.
Although the risk of severe weather is forecast to reach as far south as Kansas on Monday night, the Dakotas, southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan are at the highest risk of being hit by severe thunderstorms.
The thunderstorms on Monday night can be particularly dangerous as they can move though with little warning under the cover of nightfall.
Some of the storms will continue eastward toward the Great Lakes on Tuesday, but are not expected to be as intense as those on Monday and Monday night.
The severe weather potential is only one aspect of this large storm system.
"This is the type of storm that can bring widespread, significant rainfall to the Prairie region," said Anderson. "Parts of southeastern Alberta could also get into the heavier rain for a time later Monday."
Rainfall totals through Tuesday may top 2 inches (50 mm) in some areas such as southern Saskatchewan and eastern Montana, which can lead to localized flooding.
Anderson added that strong and locally damaging winds will whip across Alberta and Saskatchewan on the western side of this storm, being accompanied by unseasonably cool air.
Similar conditions can be expected across parts of Montana, eastern North Dakota and perhaps into northwestern Minnesota on Tuesday.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, this is likely to be the strongest, non-tropical storm system of the summer.
"Gust frequenting 60-65 mph [95-105 kph] area likely, which can cause some minor property damage," Margusity said.
Drier and more seasonable weather is forecast to return to the region by the middle of the week.
This will give those across the northern Plains and Canadian Prairies a break from the severe weather and better conditions for spending time in the outdoors.
Settled weather should remain over the region through the rest of the week as dry weather dominates.
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