Another round of drought-relieving showers and thunderstorms will track through the Midwest, central and southern Plains today; however, some of these storms will come with the threat of severe weather.
The heavy downpours associated with the storms will have the potential of bringing an inch or two of rain to many drought-stricken areas. This will no doubt help chip away at some of the historical Drought of 2012.
Damaging thunderstorms tracking through parts of the Midwest on Tuesday evening already delivered some beneficial rain as well as gusty winds. A 74-mph wind gust was reported late on Tuesday evening in Rochester, Minn.
More of the same is expected on Tuesday as a cold front pushes toward the Great Lakes, central and southern Plains.
Storms will fire along the leading edge of a push of cooler and drier air as it collides with very warm and moist air pumping northward out ahead of it.
Combine this interaction with some heating from the sun, and you have a volatile atmosphere sufficient enough to produce locally strong and damaging thunderstorms.
The threat of severe thunderstorms will be confined to mainly the late-afternoon hours, but the threat will linger into the early evening hours.
Cities which will be in the path of these storms this afternoon include Milwaukee, Wis., Chicago, Ill., St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., as well as Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.
This evening the severe focus will shift eastward into Detroit, Mich., Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Ind., and Cape Girardeau, Mo., before tapering off.
The greatest localized threat with the storms will be strong and damaging wind gusts over 60 mph. However, there will be the potential for large and damaging hail up to the size of golf balls or hen eggs.
The majority of the severe weather will be confined to the Great Lakes and middle Mississippi Valley regions with a marginal threat across the southern Plains and Ozarks.
Drier weather will make a return to most areas in the wake of the front on Thursday. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Later this week, another cool front will dive southeastward over the Plains and Midwest with a new round of showers and thunderstorms."
This round of storms will signal a major shift in the weather pattern which will drive cooler air southward across the Plains and into Texas later this week.
More than 500 inbound and outbound flights at LaGuardia in New York were delayed due to the storms.
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Brownsville, TX (1998)
Just 0.04" of rain since April.
Snowstorm across state; daytime accumulation of 4-6".
Abilene, TX (2000)
109 degrees, hottest ever in May.