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Strong storms, flooding rain to pound midwestern US into Friday night

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The threat for damaging thunderstorms and flash flooding will track across the midwestern United States into the weekend.

The same system that bombarded the northern Plains with severe storms and flash flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday will begin to make more substantial progress across the northern tier of the country into Saturday.

Ample amounts of moisture and energy out ahead of the system will add fuel for strong and soaking storms to break out, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.

Into Thursday night, the greatest threat for strong storms will focus across portions of Wisconsin, central and southern Minnesota, southeastern South Dakota, Iowa, eastern Nebraska and far northern Kansas.

Minneapolis; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin, could all be in the path of heavy and gusty storms for a time.

Flooding downpours and damaging winds will be the primary threats from the storms, Adamson said.

The threat for flash flooding should be taken just as seriously as the threat for wind damage. Flash flooding can occur well after severe storms have waned in intensity.

On Wednesday night, rainfall rates over an inch per hour quickly overwhelmed storm drains in and around Minneapolis and caused flooded roadways, National Weather Service spotters reported.

Additional rainfall will only compound ongoing flooding problems.

As the zone of heaviest rain and storms shifts eastward on Friday, "strong storms will still be possible, but severe weather should not be widespread," Adamson said.

"Southern Michigan, northwestern Ohio and much of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri will be most at risk for heavy and gusty storms on Friday," Adamson said.

Batches of residual clouds and storms from Thursday night may already be in place across portions of the western Great Lakes and central Plains during Friday morning. This could limit the threat for strong storms later in the day, but the flash flood threat will remain high.

Gradual clearing is expected to take place from west to east in the wake of the storms, as much of the Midwest can expect drier and less humid conditions to highlight the weekend.

Meanwhile, this system will enhance the persistent downpours farther east, leading to a soggy weekend for many across the Northeast.