Fox News Weather Center

Potent spring storm to target central US later next week

A shift in the weather pattern will renew the risk of soaking rain, severe weather, wildfires and possibly even snow to the central United States later next week.

After a push of more seasonable air suppresses this weekend's surging record warmth back to Texas early next week, the door will open for storms to dive into California and then emerge onto the Plains starting later next week.

While the exact storm track will determine what will occur in individual communities, this storm has the potential to deliver a soaking rain on its northern and northwestern flank with unseasonable warmth, strong winds and severe weather to the south.

Plains March 18

A track over or in between the I-40 and I-70 corridors would yield the most beneficial rain. Many communities in these corridors are suffering from a moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Kansas City, Missouri, has only received a quarter of the 2.55 inches that typically falls since the start of February.

The potential for the rain to be heavy enough to trigger flash flooding is being monitored. Regardless, any downpours will threaten to create slower travel and would heighten the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

A farther north track would not only shift the rain to the northern Plains, but could pull the severe weather risk farther north. The central and southern High Plains would face the return of strong winds and high fire danger.

Without a preceding or accompanying fresh cold blast, the storm is likely not to become a major snowstorm on the Plains. However, it will be monitored for the potential to manufacture its own cold air and cause rain to mix with or change to snow in a narrow corridor.

A plunge of cold air may catch up with the storm for more widespread snow when it reaches the Great Lakes next weekend.

Another storm may target the central U.S. in the final days of March.