A corridor of showers and locally gusty thunderstorms will stretch from the central and southern Plains to the Ohio Valley through midweek. Showers and storms will reach part of the East as well.
A front will hover across the region into the end of the week. While no widespread areas of severe weather are forecast, clusters of drenching downpours and locally strong thunderstorms, some with high winds and hail, will wander eastward along the front.
The pattern will continue to bring more drought relief from parts of the central and southern Plains to the Ohio Valley. (Portions of Illinois have received between 3 and 6 inches of rain thus far, as of Wednesday afternoon).
The rain is falling during a critical time for winter wheat on portions of the Plains, which is planted between late August and early October. The crop needs sufficient moisture to germinate and establish a good root system to make it through the winter.
The downpours and locally gusty storms, however, can lead to minor disruptions in travel and highly localized power outages.
Hail may also fall briefly from the strongest storms and there is a risk of a couple of tornadoes being produced by the most severe storms. (There were a few tornado reports including EF0 to EF1 damage in the Okawville, Ill. area, where one person was injured. The because of the concentration of reports in a small area, this may have been a single funnel occasionally touching the ground.)
Cities in the Midwest most likely to be impacted by the rain and storms include Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Parkersburg, W.Va., and Pittsburgh, Pa. into Wednesday night.
Farther east, showers and spotty storms are expected to impact the swath from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston Wednesday night.
There is a possibility the wet weather will continue in the swath from Kansas to the Delmarva Peninsula Thursday, while drier air filters in farther north.
A storm could slowly spin up along the mid-Atlantic coast over the weekend, potentially spoiling outdoor activities in some areas with windswept showers.
Meanwhile, moisture from Miriam in the Eastern Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico may combine forces to bring portions of Texas drenching rainfall late in the week and into the weekend.
Around 8:47 p.m. PDT, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook in the mountains of California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
More than 500 inbound and outbound flights at LaGuardia in New York were delayed due to the storms.
Timelapse powered by Google could help scientists with climate change research.
With one day remaining before Memorial Day weekend, the Sandy-battered Jersey coastline is hustling to finish last-minute preparations.
The Memorial Day weekend will begin cool, windy and rainy in New England and part of the mid-Atlantic.
Explosive thunderstorm development can bring tornadoes to northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma late Thursday.
Newton, NJ (1925)
96 degrees on the 23rd; 39 degrees on the morning of the 24th.
Philadelphia, PA (1992)
A dramatic cold frontal passage. Early afternoon temperature over 80 degrees fell to a late-day reading in the 40s.
West Coast (1982)
Heat wave: San Francisco, CA 91 degrees, (new record; previous record 79 in 1975) San Jose, CA 84 degrees Portland, OR 85 degrees (tied record)