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N. Plains Storms Continue, Fresh Northwest Storms Sat.

UPDATED 9 PM CDT, July 13, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Seth Carrier

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Severe storms will continue to roll through parts of the Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest this evening before dying out overnight. However, a fresh batch of dangerous weather will threaten to reappear in the Northwest on Saturday afternoon.

A disturbance in the upper atmosphere is running into unstable air at the surface, causing strong thunderstorms to boil over in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. While these storms are expected to weaken in the next few hours as they run into more stable air in western Wisconsin, residents should keep a close eye to the sky for hail the size of golf balls and wind gusts exceeding 55 mph.

To the west, a separate upper-low swirling along the western Washington coast is sparking a few thunderstorms along the far northern fringe of the Rockies. Hail will be the biggest threat as these storms motor across places like Spokane and Colville, Wash., Mullan Pass, Idaho, and Cut Bank, Mont., headed for southern Canada.

The Pacific Northwest will be under the gun for a repeat performance of severe storms again on Saturday afternoon. This time the danger zone will stretch from northeastern Oregon into west-central Idaho. A small but potent upper-level disturbance will slowly rotate eastward through Oregon during the day, helping to trigger storms east of Pendleton, Ore. Once the storms begin to grow, fast-moving upper-level winds will only help to strengthen them even more. The strongest storms will be capable of producing large hail and damaging wind gusts before fizzling out in the evening.

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