As a powerful storm takes shape over the northern Plains late this week, severe thunderstorms may bring a tornado outbreak and high winds from parts of the southern Plains to a portion of the Midwest.
Tranquil weather over the Central states to start the week will take a turn for the worse by the week's end.
Thunderstorms late in the week will do more than mark an end to the buildup of warmth.
The pattern has the potential to bring the first widespread severe weather outbreak of the autumn season and could be the most significant threat to lives and property over the Central states since May.
The collision of chilly air arriving from the West with warm, developing strong winds aloft and warm, moist air in place over the central United States may come together Friday into Saturday.
The first severe weather incidents are likely to develop Friday just east and south of the center of a large the storm system.
According to AccuWeather.com's Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "The setup could yield storms with tornadoes centered over Iowa Friday afternoon and expand to parts of southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin late in the day and during the evening."
The storms could hit some communities as students are heading home from school or partaking in Friday evening sporting activities, such as high school football.
Additional severe storms are likely to continue to ignite and expand southwestward Friday night.
Storms over parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, north-central Texas and northwestern Missouri late Friday into Friday night have the potential to bring damaging wind gusts, hail and perhaps a few tornadoes Margusity stated.
Cities that are at risk for dangerous weather conditions Friday and/or Friday night include Rochester, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; Oklahoma City; Des Moines, Iowa; and Madison, Wis.
The storms could catch people off guard with rapidly changing weather conditions.
According to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' Expert Senior Meteorologist Scott Breit, "Storms over the central and southern Plains are likely to become fast-movers with an elevated risk of high winds."
A strong flow of air around the the storm system would continue the potential for strong wind gusts in the wake of the thunderstorms over the Plains Friday night and Saturday.
Gusts in many areas may range between 40 and 60 mph, which are strong enough to cause sporadic power outages and difficult crosswinds for lightweight and high-profile vehicles.
Severe weather may then focus from eastern Wisconsin and the western Lower Peninsula of Michigan to northwestern Indiana, Illinois, southeastern Missouri and Arkansas during Saturday, perhaps impacting additional high school games as well as some college football games.
Severe weather could affect the cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee during part of Saturday.
Since the severe weather is several days away, the timing of the storms will be fine-tuned as the week progresses.
People from the Midwest to the southern Plains should monitor the situation carefully, especially on Friday, when the first violent storms are forecast to ignite.
On the storm's colder side, heavy snow can fall from parts of the northern Rockies to the northern Plains and northern Minnesota spanning Thursday into Saturday.
Meanwhile, high winds will also buffet Southern California Friday into Saturday, raising concerns for wildfires.
The storm forecast to bring severe weather and snow to the Central states late this week hammered the Northwest with heavy rain and high winds this past weekend.