Rounds of severe thunderstorms to end May with a bang across central US
AccuWeather forecasters say Mother Nature will set off her own fireworks to close out the month of May as severe thunderstorms develop daily across the central United States.
Pockets of severe weather that could spin up isolated tornadoes will be possible across parts of the Great Plains through the start of June.
For many, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer as grills are fired up and swimming pools are opened for refreshing swims. As people across the United States start to dream of summer weather, summerlike storms tracked across much of the Plains on Monday, and AccuWeather forecasters say more is soon on the way.
Storms on Monday were largely concentrated between eastern Colorado and South Dakota, bringing roughly 2 dozen reports of severe hail and damaging winds. A separate area of storms was located well to the south, bringing strong wind gusts and heavy rain to South Texas.
The coverage of thunderstorms was a bit more widespread on Tuesday, with reports from western South Dakota to western Oklahoma. There were also concentrations of wind and hail reports in eastern Kansas and northwestern Minnesota.
As of midweek, the epicenter for severe thunderstorms has shifted slightly as several atmospheric conditions have become more concentrated. As a result, the scope of damaging storms will become more widespread into Wednesday night from portions of Texas and New Mexico northward into western Nebraska.
The greatest risk of severe thunderstorms into Wednesday night will stretch from far eastern Colorado southward into the northern section of the Texas and New Mexico border.
It's in this section of the country where storms capable of producing large hail, torrential rainfall, damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes will be most likely.
Heading into Thursday, severe storms will be possible yet again, though perhaps in a smaller region. Nevertheless, locations such as Midland and Lubbock, Texas, may have to contend with a round of intense storms Thursday evening.
Forecasters say more severe thunderstorms are expected to rumble to life each day through the end of the week.
The most concentrated storms are likely to be centered over southeastern New Mexico and West Texas on Friday and Friday night. However, AccuWeather forecasters will also be monitoring locations farther to the north and east as well, potentially into Oklahoma.
Storms to combat ongoing drought concerns
While this week's disruptive storms could lead to canceled plans or even property damage, forecasters say rain will actually have some benefit across the center of the county.
"While the repeated rounds of rain can produce areas of flash flooding, the rain is desperately needed given the ongoing long-term drought in place," explained Buckingham.
The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that 99.4 percent of Nebraska is dealing with everything from abnormally dry soil conditions to exceptional drought. In neighboring Kansas, 90 percent of the state is experiencing at least abnormal dryness.
The worst drought in the entire continental U.S. is currently located in Kansas. A staggering 35 percent of the Sunflower State is dealing with exceptional drought, the most intense category listed by the drought monitor.
"The persistent wet pattern across the region will also help to keep energy demands for cooling in check, limiting any chances for extreme heat," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.
Flooding risk to ramp up by week's end
AccuWeather forecasters are growing increasingly concerned that a significant flooding threat will develop late this week in the center of the country.
"By late week, a reinforcing slug of moisture can elevate flooding concerns across a wide swath of the Plains, extending from West Texas northward to Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan," cautioned Buckingham.
Repeating rounds of drenching storms on Thursday and Friday will likely live up to the "too much of a good thing" adage as rain will fall too hard and too quickly to be absorbed properly by the dry soil.
Days of torrential rainfall can lead to instances of flash flooding and rises on streams and rivers, especially from eastern Montana through parts of Wyoming.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories