Fox News Weather Center

Severe Storms From Omaha to Minneapolis

An autumnlike cold front will cut into summertime heat and humidity on Tuesday, sparking another round of dangerous storms on the Plains.

Some of the cities and towns most at risk include Omaha, Neb.; Lincoln, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D. and Minneapolis, Minn., to name a few.

On Monday night, a monster complex of dangerous thunderstorms blasted across southern Kansas and southwestern Missouri. From Pratt to Joplin, winds gusted over 80 mph in spots, knocking down trees and power poles over a stretch of land over 200 miles long.

While an event like this is not likely to be repeated, and not everyone will see a thunderstorm on Tuesday, it does suggest the kind of energy available in the atmosphere for these storms to work with.

Damaging wind gusts as high as 60 or 70 mph are a possibility in many areas. These winds can uproot trees, blow down power poles and easily blow around any unsecured objects left outside.

Hail as large as quarters, golf balls or even baseballs is likely in the most powerful storms. This kind of hail can cause injury to people and livestock. Crops can have significant damage. Windshields on vehicles and windows on homes can be shattered.

Flooding rain is also a possibility across these areas, especially if the storms reach into the state of Kansas. Rainfall amounts will average 0.25-1.00 inch in most areas, but this rainfall will likely occur over a short duration, resulting in flash flooding.

In parts of Kansas, virtually any rainfall can lead to flooding considering the tremendous rainfall over the past week.

If you will be out and about or have any plans on Tuesday afternoon through the night, you will need to pay special attention to the weather as this could be a particularly dangerous situation.

Once thunderstorms develop, they will strengthen quickly. Those expected to be doing any driving on interstates such as 70, 80, 90 and 94 should keep an eye to the sky for rapidly changing weather conditions. Blinding rain, very large hail and intense winds could be only a few miles ahead.

Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alerts of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm. The time to have a plan of action and move to the general vicinity of a storm shelter or safe area is when a watch is issued.

Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.