The National Weather Service is predicting that heavy thunderstorm activity is expected in the Missoula area Monday night into Tuesday.

Meteorologist Leanne Allegretto said confidence is high that thunderstorms will increase throughout western Montana and north central Idaho.

"We're expecting heavy downpours this evening and through the night," Allegretto said. "These storms could be accompanied by winds gusting to 40 miles per hour and even some small hail, probably under an inch."

Allegretto said the storms would continue into Tuesday, but would decrease in their intensity.

"We'll have more heavy rain on Tuesday," she said. "But the strong winds and hail will have moved out of the area by then."