North-central US: Building warmth to fuel severe storms on Tuesday

A surge of warmer air across the north-central United States will set the stage for the next round of severe weather to return on Tuesday.

After a cool and wet start to the weekend, temperatures will gradually swing upward across the northern Plains the next couple of days.

Saturday’s highs generally in the 50s will be replaced by highs in the 70s and 80s on Monday.

As the warmth persists into Tuesday and a cold front swings eastward, the stage will be set for severe thunderstorms to ignite in the afternoon and evening.

The violent thunderstorms are expected to sweep from west to east across the Dakotas during this time, potentially threatening the cities of Dickinson, Bismarck and Minot in North Dakota and Rapid City, Pierre and Aberdeen in South Dakota.

“If the cold front is quicker to reach the Dakotas, western areas may escape the severe weather,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

“However, a slower-moving front may expand the threat zone farther west into far eastern Montana.”

Regardless, the strongest thunderstorms that erupt later on Tuesday will be capable of producing damaging winds and hail. An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

Localized flash flooding may also ensue, while any downpours will endanger motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Despite the hazards of the thunderstorms and downpours, rainfall would be beneficial to the area. The upper Missouri River Valley remains in the midst of a severe to extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The severe weather danger will wane on Tuesday night as the thunderstorms press into the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Temperatures will be trimmed slightly across the northern Plains on Wednesday in the front’s wake, but not to the Octoberlike levels experienced on Saturday.

AccuWeather meteorologists will then be monitoring the next storm to emerge from the Rockies and threaten more of the Plains with severe thunderstorms later in the week.