Severe Storm, Flooding Risk from Omaha to St. Louis

By , Senior Meteorologist
August 2, 2013; 8:52 AM ET
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A series of thunderstorms will continue to roll along over the central Plains, and some areas will be hit with severe weather into Saturday.

As one complex of storms that brought severe weather to Nebraska Thursday evening weakens over Missouri, a new batch of storms was already bringing severe weather to parts of South Dakota on Friday morning.

This new complex of storms will roll southeastward into Saturday across Nebraska, Missouri and parts of Kansas and Iowa. The storms could reach as far as Tennessee, northern Mississippi and Alabama later Saturday.

Cities and suburbs from Omaha, Neb., to Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., are most likely have disruptive and damaging storms.

While frequent lightning strikes and hail will hit some communities hard, the greatest threat from the storms is damaging wind gusts and flash flooding.

Motorists should expect delays along I-29, I-70 and I-80 in the region, due to localized blinding downpours and excess water on the road surface.

For a few locations, this will be the second round in as many days of strong to severe thunderstorms, including parts of South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

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Much of the new rain falling on top of saturated ground will just run off into streams and rivers. People in unprotected, low-lying areas that are prone to flooding should keep a watchful eye.

Never drive across flooded roadways, as only about a foot of water can cause your vehicle to loose traction and could be swept downstream.

The rain is not unwanted in some areas. Portions of Iowa, for example, have had less than 25 percent of their normal rainfall during July.

Areas from western Nebraska southward to West Texas over the High Plains are in great need of rain. Much of this area is in extreme to exceptional drought. The storms into Saturday will avoid much of the drought areas over the High Plains.

Another complex of storms may fire farther south later Saturday and Sunday, beginning over parts of Kansas and Colorado.

The storms are firing along shifting boundary between unusually cool air over the Midwest and 100-degree heat over much of Texas.

Interestingly, one of the disturbances producing the rounds of thunderstorms over the Plains has a chance at surviving a trip to the Gulf of Mexico early next week. Once in a while, such disturbances can develop into a tropical system.


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