Central Plains on Alert for Flooding as Multiple Drenching Storms Take Aim

A pattern of showers and thunderstorms, already in progress across the central Plains, is likely to last through the weekend and will raise the risk of flooding.

Round after round of thunderstorms will sweep from the central Rockies and High Plains to a number of locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri through the weekend.

In addition to an elevated risk of severe weather, each dose of rain will raise the stakes for flash and urban flooding as the ground becomes saturated and progressively more rain runs off.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, there is the potential that parts of the central Plains may suffer a similar outcome to that of Texas and Oklahoma from May.

"Some tropical moisture will be funneled up from the eastern Pacific while thunderstorm complexes form and move eastward along the boundary between cool air to the north and building warmth to the south," Margusity said.

Parts of northern Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri have received twice their average rainfall since early May. A swath of rain on the order of 6-12 inches has fallen since the start of May.

Cities at risk for flash flooding in the pattern include Salina and Topeka, Kansas; Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; and Denver.

The pattern of intense rainfall is not likely to last as long as the onslaught experienced by Texas. Portions of Texas and the southern Plains received 1-2 feet of rain during May.

According to AccuWeather Chief Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, "The pattern will continue until around Monday, June 8, or so then it will break down."

Pastelok expects the pattern to shift around over the Central states and will likely lead to an eventual uptick in showers and thunderstorms farther south from Texas and Oklahoma to the central Gulf Coast.

"Right now we believe the bulk of the showers and thunderstorms will focus east of Texas, but we are concerned about it and will be closely monitoring the situation," Pastelok said.

There are some signs that a weak tropical system may take shape on the Atlantic side of Central America to the Gulf of Mexico toward the middle of the month.

"Where that tropical moisture tracks is uncertain at this time," Pastelok said.