AccuWeather forecasters say that portions of the central and southern United States will have to contend with multiple rounds of dangerous storms in the coming days.
Summerlike heat and robust moisture in place across the Plains and along the Gulf Coast will continue to set the stage for potentially explosive thunderstorm development.
“The overall pattern this week is shifting with high pressure set to build north to the Upper Midwest and east across the Great Lakes where temperatures will soar,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Matt Benz.
It’s along the periphery of this heat where the threat of severe thunderstorms over the next few days is expected.
Along the southeastern periphery of the heat, thunderstorms will erupt from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina to Atlanta and cities farther south including Tampa and Orlando through Monday evening.
Storms will be capable of producing hail, torrential downpours and damaging wind gusts.
“An intense cluster of thunderstorms is expected to track into Louisiana and Mississippi Tuesday with the potential for damaging wind gusts, large hail and flooding downpours,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
New Orleans and portions of southern Alabama and Mississippi could be in line to have the most widespread severe weather Tuesday into Tuesday evening. These heavier storms may reach the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday.
Widespread gusts in any severe thunderstorm of 60 to 70 mph with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 80 mph are possible on both days in the South.
Regardless of where severe thunderstorms erupt, the Southeast is expected to experience drenching showers and storms this week as tropical moisture is ushered into the region. Rainfall amounts from Monday to Friday could reach 2-4 inches from southeastern Louisiana to Virginia with some pockets of 4-8 inches in North Carolina.
“Ripples of energy will ride northeastward along the jet stream Tuesday and Wednesday, and these will act as triggers to thunderstorm development,” Anderson said.
At the same time, a southeasterly flow of air near the surface will supply ample moisture and heat to feed these storms.
“The first of these ripples will track into the central Plains Tuesday afternoon and shift northward toward the Dakotas by early Wednesday,” Anderson said.
Thunderstorms may be locally severe from Nebraska and across the Canadian border into southern Manitoba on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
Storms will be able to unload hail, heavy rain, damaging wind gusts and even spin up an isolated tornado along the corridor from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to northern Nebraska. In any severe storm, wind gusts from 60-70 mph (100-115 km/h) are expected with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 85 mph (135 km/h).
“A second ripple of energy will track into Colorado later Wednesday, with the risk of damaging thunderstorms from Nebraska and eastern Colorado to the Texas Panhandle later Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night,” Anderson continued.
The area AccuWeather meteorologists are most concerned about is from Denver to Rapid City, South Dakota, and into Bismarck, North Dakota. Large hail will be the primary concern with these storms along with the risk of localized flash flooding and damaging wind gusts. Widespread wind gusts in any severe storm of 50-60 mph are anticipated with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 75 mph.
Kansas and Nebraska have some of the worst drought conditions in the country, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Conditions ranging from abnormally dry to exceptional drought are currently being reported in more than 90% of both states. Despite the risks that severe storms pose, some rain would be extremely beneficial if it falls in these regions.
“This pattern may linger through the end of the week across the central U.S. with repeated rounds of heavy rainfall for much of the northern Plains as record heat is expected to grip the region,” Benz said.
Produced in association with AccuWeather