Fox News Weather Center

Central US to face return of flood risk, thunderstorms at midweek

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Flooding downpours and thunderstorms will target a part of the central United States at midweek.

A storm system from the Rockies will cause heavy rain to unfold in the vicinity of southern Minnesota and Iowa at midweek. The rain will arrive on Tuesday before intensifying and falling heavy at times on Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The soaking rain will target Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City and Des Moines, Iowa; Rochester, Minnesota; and Madison, Wisconsin.

This zone also encompasses Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which endured major flooding about a month ago as the Cedar River rose to its second-highest crest on record.

While widespread major flooding is not likely to unfold, the most persistent rainfall at midweek threatens to cause flash flooding in some poor drainage areas and along smaller streams and creeks.

"Through Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, areas of southern Minnesota and much of Iowa could have more than 2 inches of rain in just a few short hours," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

"Some ponding on the roadways is possible for the Wednesday morning rush."

Residents are urged to clear storm drains of any leaves to reduce the risk of street flooding.

Even where flooding does not occur, any downpours could cause travel delays and hazards by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Fallen wet leaves will turn roads and sidewalks slick, including after the rain has stopped falling.

South of the soaking rain, thunderstorms will rattle Wichita and Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri. The thunderstorms will erupt in central Kansas on Tuesday afternoon before progressing eastward into Wednesday.

"The major impacts with these thunderstorms will be drenching downpours and dangerous lightning, especially as they move into Missouri overnight," Spamer said.

"However, locally strong thunderstorms are possible with the potential for wind gusts to 55 mph," Spamer said. "Minor flooding issues could also be left behind heavier thunderstorms."

In addition, any stronger thunderstorm can produce hail.

Wednesday into Thursday, the rain and thunderstorms will continue to advance eastward across the Midwest and Tennessee Valley.

The flood risk will lessen as the rain enters the Great Lakes and most thunderstorms will fizzle before reaching the hardest-hit drought areas of the South.

However, rain and gusty winds could still lead to minor travel delays in Chicago and Detroit.