A strengthening storm system will produce a major severe weather outbreak over the Plains Saturday. In Chicagoland, storm-related problems may be two-pronged.
The developing storm system marks an end to the tranquil weather being experienced over much of the nation in recent weeks.
During Saturday, building warmth over the Plains will contribute to severe thunderstorms from Iowa to north-central Texas. The risks from the storms include damaging wind gusts, large hail, flash flooding and a few tornadoes.
The storm will rout out chilly air during Saturday in Chicago. However, the process is likely to unleash areas of very heavy rain and thunderstorms. There is a risk of flash and urban flooding problems with the greatest chance across the northern suburbs into Milwaukee.
Building warmth to the south on Saturday can reach into Chicagoland for a time Saturday night. If it is successful, there will be an elevated risk of violent thunderstorms late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The storms could still pack enough punch moving in from the Plains to bring 55-mph wind gusts, which can knock down tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages as a result.
During the balance of Sunday, a strong flow of air on the storm system's back side will make for a windy day. Frequent gusts between 30 and 40 mph are possible. Enough dry air may come in from the west to end the showers and allow clouds to break during the afternoon.
A pattern favoring waves of progressively cooler air will set up across much of the Midwest and Northeast during next week and could continue into early May.
Round after round of drenching rain will continue to cause flooding in the South, while another dose of rain may renew flooding in the Ohio Valley this weekend.
The 119th Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, April 20, and runners set to take on the historic course will face cool and rainy conditions.
Thunderstorms with the risk of damaging winds, hail, isolated tornadoes and torrential downpours will begin to shift eastward over the central United States this weekend.
In a high-tech world of satellites, computers, mobile devices and wearables, the weather balloon is still an important tool which helps meteorologists create more accurate forecasts, especially in the case of severe weather.
Rounds of flooding and severe storms slammed the South and Plains this week, while a storm system unleashed dust storms and snow in the West.
Wyoming, South Dakota (1966)
24" of snow and blizzard conditions in South Dakota. 20" of snow at Lander, Wyoming.
Rapid City, SD (1970)
22" of snow (17th-18th) -- 24-hour record.
Heat wave in Northeast -- 95 degrees in Washington, DC, tied April record. 94 degrees in Philadelphia, PA.