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Weekend rain, severe weather risk to end mild weather in central US

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 20, 2017, 4:10:06 AM EDT

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Residents of the central United States will once again have to contend with rain and a threat for severe weather this weekend.

Aside from gusty winds, the warm weather through Friday across the Plains and Midwest will be virtually perfect for pumpkin picking, sporting events or any other outdoor plans.

Late week Oct 17

Friday's gusty winds and an increase in thunderstorm activity around Texas will be signs that the mild stretch of weather will be ending this weekend.

The same push of cool air set to bring some welcome rain to Northern California late this week will sweep across the central U.S. this weekend with a band of rain and thunderstorms. The entire weekend will not be a washout in any one given location, but outdoor plans will be in jeopardy on at least one day.

The weekend will start with showers spreading across the Plains with thunderstorms becoming more numerous on Saturday afternoon and evening.

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Some of the thunderstorms may become severe later on Saturday with damaging winds, hail and frequent lightning. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Latest indications put the corridor from northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas to north-central Texas at greatest risk.

“You think that severe weather season is over in October and November, but if you can get warm and increasingly humid air next to a strong push of chilly air, you can get severe weather to break out,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

Saturday Severe Central US 10.20 AM

Anderson anticipates that more of the thunderstorms crossing the South Central states this weekend will produce downpours rather than severe weather. Street and highway flooding may occur in some areas.

“While there can be isolated problems, the thunderstorms will be moving too quickly for widespread flooding to occur," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

In fact, the rain will help the abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions that have unfolded from northeastern Texas to the Great Lakes.

Regardless of severe weather, anyone planning to be outdoors will have to keep an eye on AccuWeather MinuteCast® and be prepared to seek shelter.

“Typically, you do not have to worry about lightning at football games and tailgates this time of year,” Abrams said, “but that can be a concern this weekend.”

NASCAR fans attending race activities at Kansas Speedway may have to duck for cover on Saturday. The storms should move off to the east by race time on Sunday.

On Sunday, rain and thunderstorms are expected to stretch from around Michigan to Louisiana.

The threat of lightning is expected to wane before the rain moves through the Great Lakes on Sunday.

However, depending on the speed of the rain, tailgaters and fans will need rain gear for the games between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field or as the Chicago Bears host the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field.

Static Chilly Winds

The press of cool air will send temperatures back to near normal and will kick up gusty winds.

The strongest winds are likely to focus on the North Central states early next week.

Localized wind damage, power outages and travel disruptions may result.

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