In a week that has produced hundreds of reports of severe weather and over 60 reports of tornadoes, the threat for more damaging storms will continue Thursday across the Plains and the Midwest.
The threat of severe storms will extend over a large area from North Texas northward into Wisconsin and Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Des Moines, Omaha, Wichita and Oklahoma City. The greatest threat for tornadoes will extend from northern Missouri southwestward into northeastern Oklahoma, including Kansas City, Springfield, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla.
By Thursday night, strong to severe storms will move eastward, potentially impacting Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis.
The storms will develop in advance of a cold front associated with a potent storm system sitting over the Dakotas. The clash between the cool air behind the front and the building warm, humid air over the Midwest and East will provide an environment that is ripe for severe thunderstorms.
Large hail, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and frequent lightning will accompany some of the storms.
As has been the case for the past several days, there is also the risk for tornadoes. If the atmosphere destabilizes enough, some strong, long-lived tornadoes are possible.
Another major concern will be flooding, especially over portions of the Midwest where several inches of rain has already fallen this week. Some of the worst flooding has been across Iowa, where record high water levels have been reached on a couple of rivers in the state.
Additional rainfall will lead to more flash flooding and washed out roadways in these areas.
The slow-moving front will continue to crawl eastward on Friday, keeping the threat for more severe weather and flooding downpours across the Midwest.
Drier weather will finally move in over the weekend as the front moves eastward into the Ohio Valley and East.