Storms to sweep through Plains, Midwest this week
While filming in Merriman, Nebraska, one weather enthusiast was able to catch both a lightning storm and a fantastic sunset, on July 10.
Severe thunderstorm activity has been plentiful across the Plains and Midwest so far this month, and after a brief reprieve from wet weather on Sunday, the region will face the threat for potentially damaging thunderstorms once again this week.
In the wake of an active day in terms of severe thunderstorm reports across the Midwest on Saturday, a high pressure shifted the severe threat away and promoted dry and settled weather for places like Chicago, Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday.
Instead, away from the Midwest, the Front Range of the southern Rockies and into the southern Plains were threatened by severe storms into Sunday night. Large hail, damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours were the main impacts across portions of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Into Monday night, the threat of feisty thunderstorms will return to the northern Plains and the Midwest.
Motorists traveling on interstates 29, 80, 90 and 94 across the Midwest will need to keep a close eye on the sky as conditions could rapidly deteriorate as thunderstorms develop.
Fargo, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; North Platte, Nebraska, and areas in between could be in for another round of thunderstorm activity into Monday night.
Across the Midwest, there will likely be plenty of lightning flashes within the thunderstorms.
A majority of the Plains and portions of the Midwest may not have much of a break in terms of the wet weather looking ahead to midweek, as more storminess looms.
"The same cold front that acts to set off feisty storms from the central Plains to the Midwest on Monday will dig eastward on Tuesday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said. "Storms can erupt along a wide swath of the country from the Front Range of the southern Rockies to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan."
The same system producing severe weather on Tuesday is likely to track southeastward, threatening portions of the Midwest and central Plains even through the nighttime hours.
Same as before, thunderstorms will bring with them heavy downpours that could induce flash flooding across the area, as well as strong wind gusts that could top out at an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph and large hail.
Portions of northwestern Iowa and eastern Nebraska could be threatened by severe storms for the second day in a row, while some locations will only be under threat Tuesday, like Green Bay, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa.
Wednesday, another round of severe weather will set its sights on the weather-weary region.
"Wednesday's severe threat will sink southeastward and put much of the Midwest in the crosshairs for explosive storms," Gilbert said.
Severe activity will fire up in the wake of Tuesday night's activity during the day Wednesday. Initiation on Wednesday is likely to occur from eastern Kansas to southern Wisconsin.
Chicago and Milwaukee may be among the major cities that get hit hard by storms during the afternoon and evening rush hour. Storms will march generally eastward and reach into Michigan and Indiana by the overnight hours on Wednesday.
Any thunderstorms that blow up on Wednesday will have the capacity to unleash frequent lightning strikes, large hail, flooding downpours and damaging wind gusts up to an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 75 mph. Even an isolated tornado or two will be possible with the strongest storms.
Putting the risks for large hail and damaging wind aside, the persistent wet and stormy pattern is proving to be beneficial for farmers and their crops in the region.
The month of July is considered to be the most important month for farmers across the Midwest as this is when crops like corn and soybeans experience the most rapid growth if conditions are conducive.
Not only is the water beneficial to the crops, but lightning can aid in plant growth as well. The intense heat given off by a lightning strike can cause nitrogen and oxygen molecules to bond together, forming nitrogen oxides, or nitrates. These newly formed compounds can then get absorbed by water droplets and fall to the ground, providing beneficial nutrients for the plants below.
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