The National Weather Service is predicting the chance of strong thunderstorms developing late Wednesday and continuing through Thursday.

Meteorologist Alex Lukinbeal said on Tuesday that these storms have the potential to bring strong winds and even hail to the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.

“We have a broad area of low pressure that will be coming onto the Pacific coast that will bring a moist and unstable air mass to the area on Wednesday afternoon,” said Lukinbeal. “That will create a favorable environment for organizing thunderstorms and allowing them to become long lived and potentially severe. The main threats will be hail the size of quarters and winds up to about 60 miles per hour, and that extends across all of western Montana through Wednesday afternoon and evening time frame.”

Lukinbeal described the damage that might be possible with these strong winds and hail.

“Hail up to one inch in diameter could possibly cause some vegetation damage in your gardens and your crop lands and it could cause some minor dings on your vehicles,” he said. “With winds up to 60 miles per hour you could be concerned with knocking down some tree limbs or toppling some older trees and possibly knocking down some power lines.”

Lukinbeal said another round of thunderstorms could develop by Thursday, as well.

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