Dickinson and the surrounding areas could experience severe thunderstorms this weekend.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect from Friday, July 17, from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the following counties: Adams, Burleigh, Eddy, Grant, McHenry, Morton, Pierce, Rolette, Stark, Wells, Benson, Cavalier, Emmons, Hettinger, Mclean, Mountrail, Ramsey, Sheridan, Towner, Bottineau, Dunn, Foster, Kidder, Mercer, Oliver, Renville, Sioux and Ward.
"Right now, there are some storms up in the Minot area," said Megan Jones, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. "There's possibly going to be some development, kind of, in the Dickinson area but then moving east, so Dickinson might not see any storms today. They might end up going just east, but there is still a chance, so we want people to be keeping an eye out for the next few hours."
A hazardous weather outlook issued by the weather service stated severe thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon and early evening Friday in central and parts of western North Dakota, including the counties of Renville, Bottineau, Rolette, Mountrail, Ward, McHenry, Pierce, Dunn, Mercer, Oliver, McLean, Stark, Hettinger and Adams.
"The main threats will be large hail up to two inches in diameter and damaging winds up to 70 mph with potential super cell thunderstorms. A tornado or two is also possible. A chance of thunderstorms will also return to central North Dakota late tonight, with a strong storm possible," the outlook reads.
Friday afternoon, there's a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms in the Dickinson area, mainly between 3 and 5 p.m. Friday night, the chance increased to 50%, mainly after 4 a.m. Saturday.
The weekend is expected to cool down somewhat after Friday, which has a heat index of 96 degrees.
Saturday, showers and thunderstorms are likely in the Dickinson area between 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., but the day is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 80 degrees. The weather service estimates a 60% chance of precipitation. Saturday night should be mostly clear with a low around 53.
"It looks like Saturday we do have another chance of some thunderstorms, but not quite as high of a chance of them being severe, compared to today — just some isolated or scattered thunderstorms," Jones said.
Sunday is expected to be sunny with a high near 80 degrees and wind up to 14 mph. There's a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight, which will be partly cloudy with a low around 54.
"Sunday looks nicer. There may be a chance of some thunderstorms in the evening, but a very low chance at this point," Jones said.