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Flood risk to extend along 1,000-mile swath of central US this weekend

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Another round of heavy rain capable of causing flooding will crawl eastward over the Plains and Upper Midwest this weekend, prior to stalling next week.

While hard-hit and waterlogged areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois will get a break from widespread heavy rain in the short-term, more storms will be brewing hundreds of miles farther west.

"A copious amount of moisture will be drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico and unloaded across the Plains in the form of flooding downpours and locally severe thunderstorms," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Chyna Glenn.

Areas from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to the western part of the Dakotas and eastern portions of Colorado and Wyoming will be at risk for localized flash flooding and severe thunderstorms during Friday and Friday night.

The risk of heavy rain and locally severe storms will increase farther to the east as the weekend progresses.

During Saturday and especially Saturday night, the storm threat will extend from parts of north-central and western Texas to Minnesota.

During Sunday and Sunday night, the downpours and isolated severe storms will extend from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin to central and eastern Texas.

The slow-moving and repeating nature of some of the storms will renew the risk of flash flooding, but not only in portions of Minnesota and Iowa.

The heaviest rainfall is likely to set up farther south during this event.

"From around Kansas City, Missouri, through Del Rio, Texas, 4-8 inches can fall on some areas during this weekend," Glenn said.

Portions of Kansas and Missouri have received 6-12 inches of rain earlier this month.

Rainfall of this intensity may not only lead to flash flooding, but new rises on some area rivers.

Farther north to the Canada border, 2-4 inches of rain can fall at the local level.

Portions of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin have received more than 6 inches of rain during the middle days of this week. The recent rainfall has pushed some streams and rivers out of their banks.

Even though less rain is likely to fall in these northern areas this weekend, it may not take as much rain to renew flooding.

In addition to the elevated flooding risk, some of the severe thunderstorms will carry the potential for localized damaging wind gusts, hail and isolated tornadoes through this weekend.

"Significant delays can be expected at airports such as Dallas, Oklahoma City and Kansas City as the weekend progresses," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

The downpours and severe thunderstorms will be associated with a cool front. In the wake of the front, temperatures will be slashed by 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit on portions of the Plains. Highs in the 70s and 80s will be replaced with highs in the 50s and 60s in many locations.

"During next week, the front will make much more eastward progress across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, when compared to the southern Plains," Anderson said.

This setup will end the threat of flooding in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, but may continue or increase the risk farther south.

To make matters worse, a storm may form along the front and tap into additional tropical moisture next week.

"Whether the heaviest rain sets up over coastal Texas, western Louisiana and Arkansas or a bit farther west over central Texas and Oklahoma for next week is unclear this many days out," Anderson said.