Severe storms to light up midwestern US into end of June
Prior to the calendar flipping to July, a new round of damaging thunderstorms will take aim at the midwestern United States.
Areas of the northern Plains that were jolted by severe weather with tornadoes and wind gusts of 70-80 mph on Thursday night will catch a break from intense storms as cooler air settles in into Sunday.
The leftover line of storms from Thursday night will sweep through northern Minnesota with locally damaging winds into midday Friday.
As the push of cooler air slowly sinks southeastward and clashes with the summer swelter, the swath of locally severe storms will follow suit.
During Friday afternoon and evening, severe storms capable of producing high winds, large hail and even an isolated tornado are expected to fire up across eastern Wyoming, western South Dakota and the Nebraska Panhandle.
Another area at risk for heavy to locally severe storms will be across the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, mainly during Friday night.
Isolated severe storms can occur in between these two main areas at risk to close out the week.
A greater risk of severe weather may come with the start of the weekend.
Storms that erupt on Saturday could be the more intense than Friday's storms, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"During late Saturday afternoon and evening, the storms are likely to focus from the shores of Lake Superior to northeastern Kansas," Sosnowski added.
Any of the storms that pop up within this swath will be capable of producing wind gusts high enough to snap trees and power lines, large hail, frequent lightning and torrential rainfall. An isolated tornado or two will also be possible.
Midwesterners eager to hit the swimming pool, lake or stream to cool off amid the steamy conditions should keep their cell phones charged and handy with audible severe weather alerts enabled to avoid getting caught outside in a dangerous storm.
Towering, darkening clouds and sudden gusts of wind can be signs that a storm is approaching and that shelter should be sought immediately.
As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, head indoors or into a hard-top vehicle.
"Golf carts, bus stops, gazebos, porches and picnic pavilions are not considered to be adequate shelter during thunderstorms," Sosnowski said.
Flash flooding may add further danger to residents and travelers in the region.
Areas from northeastern Nebraska through southern Minnesota and Wisconsin have been abnormally wet this month, receiving 125-185 percent of normal June rainfall.
This corridor will be especially susceptible to flash flooding during the weekend storms, but flash flooding can occur even outside of these areas.
The storms will be capable of unleashing 1-2 inches of rain within an hour.
Visibility may drop to near zero along sections of interstates 29, 35, 80, 90 and 94, and pooling of water on the roadway will heighten the risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds.
Storms will continue to march eastward on Sunday, the first day of July, potentially becoming heavy to locally severe across the Great Lakes region.