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Severe storm risk to return to north-central US this weekend

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The risk of thunderstorms and severe weather will return to the north-central United States this weekend, including some areas that were hit by violent storms on Wednesday.

The storms will get strong enough to cause property damage in some communities and hinder travel for a time. A small number of the storms could become very dangerous.

A storm system will swing eastward from the northwestern U.S., along with a surge of warm, moist air. The conditions will make the atmosphere ripe for thunderstorms.

The first thunderstorms will erupt along the U.S./Canada border on Friday. A few of these storms can become severe in parts of eastern Montana, North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

On Saturday, the most concentrated severe weather will likely be over parts of the northern Plains, the Upper Midwest and adjacent Canada.

"Eastern Minnesota to western Wisconsin look to be the main areas impacted," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott.

"Thunderstorms will erupt in the afternoon hours and turn severe with damaging wind gusts, hail and flash flooding as the main threats," Elliott said.

Severe storms will also extend in part of southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, where a couple of the strongest storms will have the greatest potential to produce a tornado during Saturday afternoon and evening.

Some of the major cities at risk for severe storms on Saturday include Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Minneapolis and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"Much of the upper Mississippi Valley and central Plains can expect thunderstorms on Saturday," Elliott said.

Thunderstorms will extend farther east over the Great Lakes and part of the Ohio Valley on Sunday.

However, while there is the potential for a few strong thunderstorms in portions of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, widespread severe weather is not likely.

"This weekend, the thunderstorms can disrupt storm cleanup operations, in the wake of wind and hail damage during the middle of this week," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Brown.

In the wake of the severe storms over the northern Plains and southern Canada prairies, wind gusts in the absence of thunderstorms could break off small tree limbs, cause sporadic power outages and make outdoor plans and projects difficult.