Fox News Weather Center

Repeated downpours to threaten flooding in central US

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Frequent downpours and heavy thunderstorms will target the central United States later this week, leading to an increased threat for flash flooding and travel delays.

Initially, the first round of storms will develop across portions of South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas Wednesday night as a cold front sweeps into the region. The storms will then head farther east and south Thursday and Friday.

"A cold front will trigger widespread rain and thunderstorms that will impact the northern High Plains through the Dakotas, Nebraska and into parts of the Upper Midwest by the end of the week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott said.

Cities that will be impacted by the rain this week include North Platte and Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; and Oklahoma City.

"The main threat from these storms will be localized flash flooding," said Elliott.

The flood threat will be hit or miss, but there is a risk for downpours to "train" over a particular area.

Training downpours are when multiple downpours repeatedly move over the same area and result in very excessive rainfall over a relatively short amount of time.

Several inches of rain can accumulate in only a few hours in these situations.

This type of threat could produce rapidly changing conditions, particularly to travelers on the roadways.

Turn around and find an alternate route if a roadway is covered in water.

In addition to excessive rainfall, some thunderstorms will turn severe this week.

"The best chance for any severe weather will be Thursday afternoon across the Dakotas, through Nebraska and into Kansas," said Elliott. "Severe storms will be isolated in nature, but a few could be capable of producing damaging winds and hail."

Gulf moisture streaming northward into the Plains along the cold front is the primary contributor to this flood threat.

Much drier and sunnier weather will follow this weekend across the Plains and Midwest to help with any required cleanup.