Beneficial rain and the potential for severe weather will accompany a push of cooler air across the central United States this weekend.
Into Saturday, it will feel like an extension of summer from the southern Plains through the middle Mississippi Valley and into the lower Great Lakes.
Record highs may be challenged as temperatures soar 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above mid-October normals along this corridor.
St. Louis could come close to their daily record high of 90, set in 1899, at the start of the weekend.
The warmth will be erased as quickly as it arrived.
One of the storms set to bring a fresh chill to the Northwest will gain moisture and strength as it clashes with the warmth over the Plains this weekend.
“This will not only set the stage for heavy rain, but also for severe thunderstorms,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
“The most likely area for severe weather will be from central Iowa southwestward through southeastern Nebraska, central and eastern Kansas, northwestern Missouri and northwestern Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon,” he added.
Heavy and gusty thunderstorms could extend as far north as southern Wisconsin, depending on how much sun peeks out during the day.
Damaging winds, hail and localized flooding will be the most widespread impacts, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out, especially as the storms initially develop during the afternoon.
A zone of soaking rain will set up to the north of the severe weather, leading to a damp start to the weekend across the upper Mississippi Valley and upper Great Lakes.
Those with plans to travel the nation’s midsection along stretches of interstates 29, 35, 70, 75, 80 and 90 may need to allow extra time to arrive at their destinations due to the downpours and reduced visibility.
There will be good news as any rain that falls will help to ease the widespread abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions occurring across the central U.S.
“While temperatures will be lower than they have been for the past couple of weeks in many areas [behind the storm], most areas will see readings right around normal for the middle of October [early next week],” Adamson said.
The air may be cool enough and catch up fast enough with the back end of the storm for rain to mix with or changeover to snow across the Upper Midwest on Saturday night. This would bring the first snowflakes of the season for northern Minnesota and possibly northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Warmth will quickly return to the region by the middle of next week.