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Storms Zap Midwest, Ohio Valley and Western High Plains

UPDATED 9 PM CDT, July 2, 2011

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The holiday weekend is beginning on the stormy side in the Midwest and Western High Plains. Dangerous storms are blasting the Lower Great Lakes and Midwest with more zapping the Western High Plains.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for parts of southeastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, western South Dakota and the Nebraska Panhandle. Cities such as Rapid City, S.D., Cheyenne, Wyo., and Scottsbluff, Neb. are included in this watch. Severe Thunderstorm Watches continue in eastern Colorado and from northeastern Missouri into southern Michigan. Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colo., Springfield, Mo., and Detroit are all included in the watches.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Gretchen Mishek has the latest in this exclusive WeatherBug Severe Weather Outlook.

Storms tonight are stretched from southern Michigan to northern Illinois and from southeastern Montana into eastern Colorado and across western Nebraska and Kansas. The storms in the Midwest will continue moving east, impacting places like Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, and Pittsburgh later this evening. More will erupt in the western Plains.

A cold front clashing cooler, drier air with warm, moist air ahead of it is responsible for the Midwest and Ohio Valley storms. Meanwhile, southeasterly winds on the back side of the same front in the High Plains are riding up the eastern slopes of the Rockies generating the storms from eastern Montana into northwestern Kansas.

While gusty winds in excess of 60 mph and hail larger than golf balls are the main threats, enough spin in the atmosphere could generate a tornado or two in eastern Wyoming, northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska.

Golf ball size hail hit Fish Lake, Ind., tonight while trees and power lines are reported down in southern Michigan from this latest round of storms.

While large stretches of the East will be at risk for storms on Sunday, the severe risk will be rather isolated. Meanwhile, another cold front will sweep into Montana. Warm, moist air ahead of the front clashing with cooler, drier air behind it will generate large hail and damaging winds along the Interstate 94 corridor in places like Billings and Miles City, Mont.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest watches and warnings in your neighborhood, and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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