Following a lack of severe weather during the middle part of August, the threat for strong, gusty storms will ramp up across the front range of the Rockies and western High Plains late this week.
A storm system moving eastward from the northern Rockies will clash with warm and humid air across these areas, setting the stage for the storms.
“Thunderstorms will develop across eastern Wyoming and Colorado Thursday afternoon and drift eastward into western South Dakota and Nebraska during the evening,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
While the main threats from the storms will be damaging winds and localized flooding downpours, a few incidents of large hail are also possible.
Cities such as Rapid City, South Dakota, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, lie within Thursday’s threat zone. Locally gusty storms may extend eastward into North Platte, Nebraska, late Thursday evening.
The storms are forecast to be widely separated, meaning that many locations in the threat area may get only showers or weaker, less disruptive thunderstorms.
In locations that do get hit by severe storms, residents should prepare for power outages, property and roof damage and the possibility of flooded basements.
“Motorists traveling across portions of interstates 70, 76, 80 and 90 during the afternoon rush hour could face delays, slow travel and reduced visibility,” Rathbun added.
Street and highway flooding can also occur in these major interstate corridors.
Storms should lose much of their intensity by Thursday night, bringing the threat for severe weather to an end.
By Friday, the greatest risk for robust thunderstorms should shift northward into the northern Plains and western portions of the Upper Midwest.