Fox News Weather Center

Flood threat to mount as severe storms lash midwestern US into late week


Unrelenting rounds of severe weather will sweep across the midwestern United States, enhancing the threat of significant flash flooding and wind damage through the end of the week.

This type of weather pattern presents a significant risk to lives and property. There is the potential for an extensive swath of wind, tree and power line damage and life-threatening flash flooding through the remainder of the week.

Many areas from the northern Plains to the western and lower Great Lakes can expect a new round of thunderstorms to occur about every 24 hours through Friday.

The bulk of the severe weather will develop late in the day and continue through the overnight and early morning hours.

On Tuesday, thunderstorms packing damaging winds, hail and torrential downpours will erupt from southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska to central Wisconsin and dive southeastward into the overnight hours. An isolated tornado can also not be ruled out.

Tue Midwest severe 7.18


The storms could impact the afternoon and evening commute in Minneapolis with reduced visibility and slower travel.

This cluster of thunderstorms is not anticipated to be long lasting, with most of the storms diminishing by or shortly after midnight.

A more volatile, long-lasting and far-reaching round of severe weather awaits at midweek.

"There is concern for a long-lived cluster of damaging thunderstorms, known as a derecho, to ride the rim of the heat baking the central Plains later Wednesday into Thursday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.

“Thunderstorm complexes such as these have the potential to produce widespread wind damage including [downed] trees and power lines, leading to widespread power outages,” AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist John Lavin said. “In addition, damage to businesses and homes will also be possible.”

A few tornado spin ups could cause further damage in some communities.

Thunderstorms will initially develop across the eastern Dakotas late Wednesday afternoon before sweeping southeastward through Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois overnight, according to Lavin.

Midwest Wed severe 7.18 AM


Should the storms dive farther south and east than currently projected, communities in the Ohio Valley could be impacted on Thursday.

Regardless of the extent of severe weather, flash flooding could turn life threatening in some communities as each round of storms has the potential to unleash several inches of rain in a matter of minutes or hours.

Roads may become impassable from flood waters and closures are possible. Use extra caution when driving at night as flood waters can be difficult to see. Never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway.

Runoff will cause rises on streams and rivers. Moderate to major flooding will continue on the Fox and Des Plaines rivers after recent deluges.

Depending on the exact path and severity of Wednesday night’s storm complex, severe weather could once again threaten much of the same swath late Thursday into Friday.

It will likely take until late this weekend and the early part of next week for quieter weather to finally settle over the Midwest and any needed cleanup operations to begin in full force.