Just after the heavy rain and thunderstorms stopped midweek, the Plains will again experience severe thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes as we move into the weekend. The storm cell that is now bringing drought relief to California will be what causes the spike in severe weather across the Plains, and it is predicted to move into the Central United States through Friday and Saturday.
The danger for severe weather will be the highest on Friday and Saturday and they will be isolated. They will first appear in Nebraska, then making its way through Colorado and Texas later on in the day on Friday. As we move into Saturday, the threat will continue for the same areas that it will impact on Friday.
The areas that are predicted to be hit the hardest with this system are North Platte, grand Island, Dodge City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Childress, and Dallas. Most of the severe weather that occurs on Saturday will do so during the late afternoon and evening hours. According to a senior Meteorologist with AccuWeather, the biggest threats with this storm will be large hail, downpours, damaging winds, and possibly tornadoes. The risk for tornadoes will not be as high as it was last Saturday, but there is still potential for a couple of twisters to touch down.
As proven last Saturday, it only takes one tornado to destroy a community and many people’s lives. One of the biggest concerns with this system will be blinding downpours on Saturday, which will create hazardous driving conditions for motorists by greatly reducing the visibility, and hydroplaning also becomes a threat when traveling at high speeds. In some of the areas that have seen a lot of rain thus far, flooding may become a concern as well. The ground has been saturated due to excessive rain, so any more precipitation could cause minor flooding or possible flash flooding.
Although the affected areas are much less than on Saturday, residents of the Plains will still need to watch out for damaging straight-line winds, downpours, hail, and tornadoes on Friday. The system will begin moving on a northeastern track on Sunday, putting the Upper Midwest at risk for severe weather. On Sunday, the affected areas will begin to dry out, but the northern Plains can expect more rain.
Any residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, northeastern Missouri and southeastern Minnesota should be on high alert for strong thunderstorms to close out the weekend. Cities that are most likely to be affected with this system on Sunday include: Green Bay, Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids, St. Louis, and even possibly Chicago in the late evening.
Make sure that if you are in the predicted threat areas that you stay updated on the weather in your area because of the severe threat. When severe weather is in the forecast, you should always stay ahead of the storms.
For more information on the weather in your particular area, check with your local weather authority, AccuWeather, or The Weather Channel for continuing feedback.