Skip to content

Thunderstorms Across The Central US To Bring Drought Relief

Through the rest of this weekend, states near the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains will experience increased moisture.

AccuWeather forecasters say that states positioned along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains will continue to face an influx of moisture through the remainder of this weekend. Repeat downpours and afternoon thunderstorms are expected to dampen locations from Idaho and Montana to western Texas during this time frame.

Saturday afternoon and night, atmospheric conditions will become primed for the eruption of severe thunderstorms across portions of southwest and central Texas and even parts of northeast Mexico. Cities such as Odessa, Texas, will face some risk for severe afternoon thunderstorms that can bring hail and damaging winds. As storms roll southward into the overnight hours, the threat will shift to locations such as San Antonio and Laredo, Texas.

Winds associated with the storms can gust up to 60-70 mph at times, with the strongest storms capable of producing the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph. Those traveling along interstates 10, 20 and 35 regions in western Texas should remain aware of any thunderstorms spawning throughout the region as they can potentially impose travel disruptions from wind, hail and flooding rainfall.

On Sunday afternoon, thunderstorms will continue to nudge into the Colorado Rockies and over portions of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and central Utah. However, some thundershowers can kick up prior to midday across western Nebraska, eastern Colorado and western South Dakota as moisture is steered northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

It is not out of the question for some storms to produce a flash flood risk across some Central states through the end of the weekend. Localized pockets of convection can briefly ramp up into severe thunderstorms during the afternoon, with downpours and wind being the primary risks. However, small hail can occur in the right environment, and forecasters emphasize that storms that ramp up to severe levels will be fairly isolated on Sunday.

Weather experts highlight that storms that intensify to severe levels will be relatively limited on Sunday. However, small hail can develop under the correct conditions. ACCUWEATHER

“A slight reduction in heat and humidity will lead to less energy available in the atmosphere, keeping any severe chances isolated across the Plains,” explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Johnson-Levine.

Conditions over parts of the central U.S. have been particularly dry lately. The lack of substantial rainfall has marked this region with levels of severe to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest update on Thursday, June 1.

Forecasters say that this ongoing moisture expansion pattern across the region can prove helpful for the drought levels.

“Most of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma are still experiencing drought conditions, despite recent rain. While any heavy storms can lead to flooding, they may also prove beneficial in a region that’s still in dire need of rain,” said Johnson-Levine.

Throughout meteorological spring, cities such as Wichita, Kansas, observed lower-than-typical rainfall values. From March 1 to May 31, the airport only observed 3.86 inches of rain, compared to the historical average of 10.57 inches of rain typical for spring. At only 37% of its typical rainfall in the months leading up to summer, dry conditions have put a damper on regional agriculture around the city and the planting of summertime crops.

As the upcoming week kicks off, the jet stream will continue to bulge northward into south-central Canada, and moisture will once again be ushered northward from the Gulf waters. Daily thunderstorms will persist across portions of the Central states as heat builds throughout the northern Plains.

As heat builds across the north-central region in the upcoming days, locations across western Texas will notice a brief cooldown on Sunday and Monday. Daytime highs in Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas, will lower a few degrees to the lower to middle 70s Fahrenheit on Sunday and Monday before ramping back up to near 80 F by midweek.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners