By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 2,2017, 3:04:59PM,EDT
After a period of dry and increasingly warmer weather across the northern Plains and Midwest, unsettled weather is in store for the area into the weekend.
“As cool and warm air masses collide over the Dakotas and Minnesota through Saturday, there will be some thunderstorms crossing these areas,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Carl Babinski.
A cold front tracking through the area will tap into the surface heat, sparking strong thunderstorms from southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada, into the Nebraska Panhandle into Friday night. Additional storms will erupt in parts of Colorado.
Residents of Bismarck, North Dakota, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Alliance, Nebraska, should prepare for potentially dangerous storms.
“The main concerns include strong, potentially damaging wind gusts and large hail. Hail greater than an inch in diameter is possible,” said Babinski.
Hail of this size would pose a significant threat to agriculture and livestock, as well as cars and property.
Strong winds in any storms will also heighten the risk of toppled trees and power lines.
“Wind gusts in places unimpeded by structures could exceed 70 mph,” said Babinski.
As Friday night progresses, the area of storms will track eastward across the Plains, impacting Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"On Saturday, the most likely areas for strong to briefly severe thunderstorms will extend from northern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as the western part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Cities including Minneapolis and Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be impacted by storms containing sudden torrential downpours and perhaps damaging winds and hail.
Major League Baseball games in Milwaukee and perhaps Chicago scheduled for Saturday afternoon could face delays as storms roll through those areas Saturday through Saturday night.
The system driving these storms is expected to strengthen as it tracks eastward, resulting in a larger temperature drop in the Midwest than across the northern Plains.
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Temperatures are expected to persist well above average in the northern Plains in the wake of this cold front, but the frontal passage will bring noticeably cooler weather into the Great Lakes by Monday.
As the system continues to strengthen and move into the Northeast, a period of pleasantly dry and seasonable weather will commence in the Midwest.