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Severe weather to pound north-central US through early week

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Volatile thunderstorms will hit the north-central United States on more than one occasion through Monday.

Locations from Montana eastward to Minnesota and southward to Kansas and Missouri could be in the crosshairs of damaging storms.

The storms will be initiated by an intensifying storm system over the northern Plains, according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Koochel.

Hot and steamy air being pumped northward ahead of this system will help fuel storm development.

While severe weather will be most active during the late afternoon and evening, storms can remain severe well into the overnight hours and take some sleeping residents by surprise.

After damaging winds and large hail struck portions of the Dakotas and Minnesota on Saturday night, the threat for violent storms will not only return to these areas, but also expand into eastern Montana and Wyoming on Sunday.

"Straight-line winds up to 80 mph, large hail, localized flash flooding and isolated tornadoes will all be possible [on Sunday]," Koochel explained.

A handful of the cities that may be hit by severe weather on Sunday afternoon and night include Billings, Montana; Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The threat for violent storms will shift slightly eastward on Monday, threatening areas from eastern Nebraska and the Dakotas to Minnesota, Iowa, western Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri.

"The severe threat will start Monday afternoon and continue into the evening," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda.

Residents beating the 90-degree heat at a local lake or pool will want to monitor the skies closely, as storms can quickly erupt on a sunny summer day.

"A few cities that will have to be on guard in the afternoon and early evening include Winnipeg, Manitoba; Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis; and Omaha, Nebraska," Sojda explained.

Large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes are all threats, especially when storms initially develop. Flash flooding will remain a concern, especially in areas that have been hit hard by heavy storms this past week.

"Into the overnight, the threat will transition to mainly damaging winds and flash flooding for cities like Kansas City, Missouri; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Thunder Bay, Ontario," Sojda stated.

Locations where clouds and thunderstorms from Sunday night persist into Monday morning may miss the brunt of the severe weather danger during Monday afternoon.

While a few heavy thunderstorms are still possible on Tuesday, the threat for widespread severe weather is expected to lessen as the system moves into the western Great Lakes.

Behind this system, winds in the absence of thunderstorms will howl across the northern Great Plains from Monday to Tuesday morning.

Gusts past 50 mph are possible.

Motorists will need a firm grip on the steering wheel when traveling along parts of interstates 25, 90 and 94, before winds begin to die down on Tuesday afternoon.