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Drenching, Gusty Storms to Stretch From Denver to Chicago, Toronto

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
August 26, 2014; 4:03 AM ET

A corridor of rain and thunderstorms will stretch from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes through midweek, bringing the threat of travel delays and flooding.

The showers and storms will focus along a boundary separating hot, humid air over the southern Plains and cooler, fall-like conditions over the northern Plains.

"As heat returns from the south and climbs over reluctant cool air to the north, showers and thunderstorms will break out all the way from Colorado and Wyoming to Illinois and Wisconsin at midweek," said AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

The storms will cut into the heat over southern Ontario, southeastern Michigan and northern Ohio.

Travel delays should be anticipated across this zone through at least Wednesday, which includes the cities of Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Denver; Chicago; Detroit and Toronto.

The moisture-rich air from the south will help to fuel drenching downpours along this boundary. It is also possible for some stronger storms to develop and produce incidents of localized hail and gusty winds.

Blinding downpours will be the primary threat, however, and can result in temporary ground stoppages at airports and road closures due to flooding.

Slowed traffic and delays should be expected along portions of Interstate 29, as well as long stretches of I-70, I-80 and I-90 as the soaking showers and thunderstorms move through.

If you plan to travel across the areas to be impacted by the showers and storms, you should allow extra time to reach your destination to compensate for poor visibility and soaked roadways.

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Not all of the impacts that the showers and thunderstorms bring will be negative. Rain that falls over this area will help to lessen the ongoing drought gripping the southern Plains.

As much as 2 to 4 inches of rain may fall over an area stretching from northeastern Colorado to western Iowa through Thursday with locally up to 6 inches possible.

Unfortunately, the heaviest rain looks to miss the areas being affected the most by the drought, such as northern Texas and western Oklahoma.

Later in the week, the zone of showers and thunderstorms is expected to shift eastward slowly away from the Rockies and dissolve over the Midwest.

While not expected to reach the I-95 corridor, spotty showers and thunderstorms will still make people reach for their umbrellas from Dallas to Chicago and eastward to Detroit and Pittsburgh to close out the week.

During the the Labor Day weekend, showers and storms are forecast to re-fire from Texas to Michigan and could disrupt outdoor plans and slow travel.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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