The first in a string of stormy days for the eastern half of the nation is expected to begin later this afternoon across the central Plains. A potent disturbance digging into the nation's heartland will trigger spotty, strong thunderstorms toward evening.
Although the coverage area of these storms will be spotty, any thunderstorm can bring damaging winds and large hail. As with any thunderstorm, drenching, blinding rainfall is possible as well as lightning. If traveling, never drive through a flooded roadways and slow down when you encounter torrential rainfall.
Residents from Lubbock, Texas, to Wichita, Kan., should keep an eye to the sky this afternoon for potentially nasty weather. Later tonight, the severe threat shifts north and east into places such as Springfield and Kansas City, Mo.
The damaging winds from these storms can topple trees and power lines while hail can damage cars and housing.
By tomorrow, drier and cooler weather is expected to rush into the region on brisk northerly winds. This will make for a refreshingly cool week's end.
Farther east, however, the potent disturbance and associated cold front will spark stormy, wet conditions in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys by Friday and Saturday.
On the northern side of this storm, a swath of rain will promote wet conditions for northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan tonight.
This moisture-laden, powerful storm system is just a precursor of fall storms to come this season. As we move into autumn, the jet stream dips farther south, allowing strong disturbances to sweep through the nation.
There were storms along the flight path, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.
While lacking across a large part of the United States on Christmas Day, arctic air is set to make a comeback during the final days of 2014.
Ski areas will welcome the fresh power that will blanket mountains from the Alps and Apennines into the Balkans.
A storm will spread rain and disruptive snow across southeast Europe Sunday into Monday.
As snow winds down over the Central states during the weekend between Christmas and New Year's Day, a new storm will ramp up over the Northwest and will lead to travel disruptions.
There is the risk of flooding from Louisiana to Alabama this weekend, while rain may lead to travel delays in a large part of the South and spotty rain and snow reach the Northeast.
Gulf Coast (1982)
End of 4 days (25th-28th) of heavy rain (as much as 20" in some areas). Flooding from Beaumont, TX to Lake Charles, LA.
Erie, PA (1982)
70 degrees; 3rd time 70 degrees or higher this month, 5 record highs this month.
Eastern States (1992)
Freezing rain and sleet created icy roads over a large area from Virginia and washington, D.C. northward to eastern Pennsylvania, southeast New York, and southern New England.