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Severe Weather Threatens Rockies To Midwest: Tornadoes, Hail, And Wind

Residents brace for consecutive days of severe thunderstorms, as storms target multiple states.
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After the week began on a stormy note, several more days of severe weather – including the risk of tornadoes- are in the offing for residents across the Rockies, Plains and Midwest.

Thunderstorms have been rumbling across the center of the country in early July. On Monday, there were widespread hail and damaging wind reports in Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. Yet another round of severe weather is expected into Tuesday night as Americans celebrate the Fourth of July.

“Some of the same areas that are at risk for severe weather for Independence Day may be the target of some thunderstorms again Wednesday and Thursday,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert. One such place is eastern Colorado, including the city of Denver, which could be threatened by severe thunderstorms for three consecutive days.

In fact, the same storm that was forecast to create severe weather on Tuesday will move southeastward to produce more volatile weather on Wednesday.

The risk of severe thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon and evening will extend from the High Plains of northeastern New Mexico and eastern Colorado to western Kentucky, Indiana and the western portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. These storms will be capable of unleashing hail as well as frequent wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph.

Motorists venturing across parts of interstates 25, 35, 40, 44, 55 and 70 could be slowed due to the nearby thunderstorms. Drenching thunderstorms could bring heavy enough downpours to reduce visibility for drivers traveling at higher speeds. Even local travel could be a concern for Wednesday evening commutes, especially around cities like Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Missouri, on northeastward to St. Louis and Chicago.

On Thursday, the risk of severe weather will continue in parts of the Plains, but this round will be caused by a new storm. As such, thunderstorms will focus on areas farther west, mainly from eastern Wyoming and extreme southwestern South Dakota through western Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma into northern Texas.

Cities from Casper, Wyoming, to Dodge City, Kansas, could be at risk for the thunderstorms on Thursday and Thursday night. Just like the thunderstorms from the previous day, the severe storms expected to flare up on Thursday will be capable of producing damaging winds and hail. There is also the potential for a few isolated tornadoes in the area into Thursday night.

Due to the risk of nocturnal tornadoes, experts say it is important to have a reliable way to be alerted if a tornado is approaching your area. Tornadoes are more difficult to see after the sun goes down, and it is important to get a warning should the weather turn severe during typical sleeping hours.

Portions of Kansas and Nebraska still have some of the worst drought conditions in the country, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Nearly 85 percent of Kansas is under at least moderate drought conditions. In Nebraska, almost 75 percent of the state is experiencing at least moderate drought with over 13 percent in a state of exceptional drought.

“While the strongest storms can be damaging, any rainfall will ultimately help to make a dent in the ongoing drought,” said Gilbert.

The persistent drought will also heighten the risk of flash flooding. Even though the region desperately needs rain, some downpours could bring too much rain at one time for the arid ground.

As the week comes to a close, some locations will get a break from the severe weather, but another storm system is expected to trek across the Plains and produce more thunderstorms.

A break in the wet weather is expected for parts of the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest on Thursday. On Friday, storms are currently forecast to target areas from eastern Colorado through Kansas and Oklahoma.

On Friday, storms are forecasted to target areas from eastern Colorado through Kansas and Oklahoma. ACCUWEATHER

The complex of thunderstorms is likely to dive southeastward across these states and into Missouri. AccuWeather meteorologists say this complex could be especially potent, with potential threats ranging from damaging winds and hail to isolated tornadoes.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue bombarding the central Plains through the weekend, AccuWeather forecasters say.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

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