Severe weather to march across central US this week
While severe weather threatened parts of the Plains this weekend, the central United States will face a more widespread risk into Wednesday.
A developing potent storm system will be responsible for spreading severe weather from the Denver area on Monday evening to Chicago by Tuesday night, and St. Louis and Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Each round of severe weather threatens to produce damaging winds, hail and flooding downpours. A couple of the strongest thunderstorms will also spawn isolated tornadoes, especially through Tuesday.
Even if flooding does not ensue, downpours will pose hazards to motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. Airline passengers in the path of the storms should prepare for potential flight delays.
Monday's severe weather will focus on Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Colorado; Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming; Sidney, Nebraska; and Goodland, Kansas. This will mark the second consecutive day of these cities facing a threat of violent thunderstorms.
"A cold front from the Rockies will pull a surge of moisture northward that will collide with a dry air mass on the Plains," AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott said. "The result of these air masses colliding, combined with the heating of the day, will be severe thunderstorms erupting across eastern Colorado and eastern Wyoming Monday afternoon."
See photos of the weather from throughout the summer:
"As the storms progress east into Nebraska and Kansas Monday night, they will carry a wind and flash flood threat, but the tornado risk will diminish," Elliott added.
The atmosphere will then reload for more severe weather on Tuesday afternoon and night from Iowa to southeastern Colorado and the northern Texas Panhandle.''
"As the cold front pushes east on Tuesday, the severe threat will become more widespread, impacting much of the central Plains," Elliott said.
Cities in the threat zone Tuesday afternoon and night include Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Wichita, Garden City and Goodland, Kansas; Woodward, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas. Pueblo, Colorado, may also face severe weather Tuesday afternoon for the third straight day.
As cooler and drier air sweeps the severe weather out of the central Plains on Wednesday, the danger will shift from Michigan to Arkansas with Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Little Rock at risk.
A heavy, gusty thunderstorm should also drop southward to Dallas, ending the dry streak that ranks as the sixth longest in the city's recorded history.
Beyond Wednesday, AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor the potential for any severe weather as the cold front and its thunderstorms reach the Northeast on Thursday.
North of the severe weather, soaking rain will spread from around South Dakota to Lake Superior from Monday night through Wednesday. The rain will interfere with outdoor plans, slow travelers and could trigger localized flash flooding.
Umbrellas and jackets will be needed as the rain will hold high temperatures to the 60s Fahrenheit in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota.
This will be quite a change from the 90-degree F heat these cities dealt with late last week. Temperatures in Pierre even soared to 104 F on Saturday.