Multi-day stretch of severe weather to disrupt travel, threaten lives in north-central US

As a heat wave builds in the southern Plains this week, several rounds of strong-to-severe thunderstorms will ride along the northern periphery of the heat dome and target the north-central United States.

While incidents of severe weather have been generally sparse since the weekend, the coverage of damaging wind, hail and even tornado reports is forecast to increase significantly through midweek.

"It appears that the severe weather/tornado threat will ramp up in a big way this week across the northern Plains, with tornadoes possible in central North Dakota, including the Bismarck area, Tuesday evening and possibly southern Minnesota on Wednesday," said AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer.

The first round of storms should get underway late Tuesday afternoon and evening in portions of northern South Dakota and western North Dakota. It is within the first few hours after the storms erupt that the tornado threat will be the greatest.

Tues Severe 5 am Static

As the storms move eastward, they should gradually congeal into a line Tuesday night upon arrival in Fargo, North Dakota, and much of western and northern Minnesota. The storms should weaken significantly before reaching Minneapolis late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

In addition to the threat for tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and torrential downpours are all likely in areas that get rattled by the strongest storms.

Behind the storms, cooler air diving out of Canada will progress southward into the day on Wednesday.

21 PHOTOS
Severe spring weather across the U.S. in 2018
See Gallery
Severe spring weather across the U.S. in 2018
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 15:�Rainbow occurs after rain over Manhattan in New York, United States on May 15, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 15: People walk over a pedestrian crossing on a rainy day in New York, United States on May 15, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Example ballots are caught by sudden winds as a storm system moves in quickly during Primary Election Day, in Philadelphia, PA, on May 15, 2018. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Severe weather builds up over Northwest Philadelphia, PA, on Primary Election Day, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 12: Rain clouds are seen over between Lower Manhattan and Jersey City in New York, United States on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WEEHAWKEN, NJ - MAY 23: A person walks in front of the skyline of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center on a rainy day in New York City on May 12, 2018 as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: The front of a severe thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol, on May 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. The area was hit with heavy rain and high winds from the early evening storm. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Simon Rusen-Morohovich, 19, of Pittsburgh, Pa. skim boards as storm clouds move in over Hollywood Beach, Fla. The National Hurricane Center says bad weather is coming from a stormy cluster over the Gulf and gives it a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next five days. (Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: People play sports on the National Mall as the front of a severe thunderstorm approaches, on May 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. The area was hit with heavy rain and high winds from the early evening storm. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: People stand under a tree as rain starts to fall as a severe thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol, on May 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. The area was hit with heavy rain and high winds from the early evening storm. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - MAY 14: A man covers himself with his coat as he walks down west Colfax Avenue during a heavy rain and hail storm on May 14, 2018 in Lakewood, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - MAY 14: A man covers himself with his coat as he walks down west Colfax Avenue during a heavy rain and hail storm on May 14, 2018 in Lakewood, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 12: Members of the Philadelphia Phillies ground crew roll out the tarp to cover the field due to an incoming storm before the start of a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
HOBOKEN, NJ - MAY 10: Lightning strikes New York City next to Hudson Yards on May 10, 2018 as seen from Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - MAY 12: Rain clouds are seen over Lower Manhattan in New York, United States on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - APRIL 16: People walk over a pedestrian crossing with their umbrellas on a rainy day in New York, United States on April 16, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADISON, CONNECTICUT -APRIL 6: Snow settles on a daffodil as an April springtime snowfall covered the East Coast of the United States on April 6, 2018 in Madison, Connecticut. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - APRIL 2: Snow covered buildings are seen in Brooklyn borough of New York, United States on April 2, 2018. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - MARCH 21: A woman stands with her umbrella during a late season snowstorm in Time Square, Manhattan in New York. The fourth nor'easter in three weeks hit the city on March 21, 2018 in New York, United States. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2018: People carrying ski gears walk past the Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 21, 2018. A late-season nor'easter, the fourth of its kind in three weeks, is targeting the northeast United States on Wednesday, bringing heavy snow and strong winds to the region. Washington, which is already snow-covered, is expected to see up to 6 inches of snow, as some models suggesting much high totals for the capital. Federal offices are closed for the snowstorm as the White House announced early Wednesday that all public events for the day were cancelled. (Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, March 22, 2018 : Photo taken on March 21, 2018 shows the Statue of Liberty seen in the snow storm in New York, the United States. Thousands of flights were canceled and public schools were closed as the fourth snow storm in three weeks began hitting New York City and its neighboring areas on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Li Muzi via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

As steamy air moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico collides with the cooler air and interacts with a disturbance moving into the western Plains, another round of severe weather will erupt across an even larger area than on Tuesday.

Areas from the Front Range of Colorado through much of Nebraska, western Kansas, southern Minnesota and Iowa, will be at risk for life-threatening storms on Wednesday.

Cities that lie within Wednesday's threat zone include Omaha, Lincoln and North Platte, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Dodge City, Kansas. Storms may fire up around or just east of Denver, Colorado.

Wed Severe 5 am Static

Extensive portions of interstates 29, 80, 90 and 94 may be impacted by these storms through midweek. Anybody with travel plans or even making the drive to and from work should remain cognizant of the latest severe weather alerts and be prepared for dangerous crosswinds and rapid reductions in visibility.

Because much of the morning and early afternoon hours are likely to remain rain-free across much of the risk area, outdoor enthusiasts can still take advantage of the outdoor air, but should be wary of darkening skies late in the day and position themselves close to an indoor shelter.

Widespread wind gusts of 60-80 mph are possible across the north-central Plains through midweek. Winds of this intensity are more than enough to bring down trees and power lines, as well as blow shingles off roofs and cause home and property damage.

If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter in a storm cellar or basement immediately. Never seek shelter under a bridge or overpass, since debris can get easily channeled through tight, narrow spaces.

Vehicles can get severely damaged and even completely destroyed by large hail, so residents should make keeping their vehicles in a garage or other closed shelter a priority this week in order to eliminate this risk.

While much of the northern Plains will get a break from severe storms on Thursday, the threat will once again focus primarily on Nebraska for the second day in a row.

Read Full Story