More rounds of severe weather take aim at central US into the weekend
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 21, 2019, 1:37:12 PM EDT
Residents of the central United States will have to remain alert for daily rounds of severe weather through this weekend.
While most of Wednesday's outbreak of severe weather centered on areas from northeastern Texas to Tennessee, the threat zone has shifted northward for late this week.
The rim of the sweltering heat and humidity surging northward into the central Plains will serve as the focal point for the violent thunderstorms to develop along.
On Thursday night, a cluster of severe thunderstorms developed along the Kansas-Nebraska border and unleashed wind gusts as high as 89 mph in Norton, Kansas.
This line of thunderstorms is expected to hold together as it tracks eastward on Friday.
"Depending on the intensity and duration of this complex of severe thunderstorms, it could evolve into a derecho," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
In the span of a couple of hours, there have already been multiple reports of straight-line wind gusts between 50 and 70 mph near the Kansas and Nebraska border.
It could be a slow and dangerous commute around Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Friday morning,"Sosnowski said.
People in the Topeka and Kansas City metro areas should anticipate delays and power outages as the storms move through.
"St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, are among the cities that may be in the path of this cluster of thunderstorms with damaging winds and flooding downpours," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Additional clusters of severe storms are expected to erupt later Friday across the nation's midsection.
"The combination of hot and very humid air will set the stage for a potentially dangerous round of severe weather across the central Plains to end the week," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
Damaging winds, large hail, flooding downpours and frequent lightning strikes are expected to be the most common characteristics of these storms. Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.
There is the potential for straight-line wind gusts to reach an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 80 mph, which can easily topple trees and power lines and cause structural damage.
People are reminded to seek shelter inside at the first rumble of thunder and to put as many walls between you and the thunderstorm as possible.
Given the plentiful heat and humidity to fuel the storms, the severe weather dangers are expected to continue well after the sun sets.
"There is concern for another cluster of violent thunderstorms to erupt and track across parts of Illinois, southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky on Friday night," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Danielle Knittle.
Ahead of the storms, it is a good idea to stow away loose outdoor items, such as planters, trampolines and lightweight furniture that can become deadly projectiles during the storms.
Keep cellphones charged with the volume turned up and severe weather alerts enabled before heading to bed.
Viral before-and-after photos 'speak volumes' about Corn Belt farmers’ nightmare struggles in 2019
The difference between tornado watches and warnings
Is it safe to talk on your cell phone during a thunderstorm?
Why washing dishes or showering during a storm can be extremely dangerous
Severe storms are also possible across West Texas late Friday.
However, there may be a lid in the atmosphere that prevents widespread severe weather in this corridor, according to Rathbun.
"Still, any storm that can develop could produce hail as large as softballs which can severely damage homes and vehicles," Rathbun said.
Rathbun anticipates more rounds of severe weather to target the central and southern Plains this weekend.
Saturday's area at risk may stretch all the way from northwest Texas to Iowa and Illinois.
The rounds of storms will further exacerbate the flooding woes across the region.
Download the free AccuWeather app for your local forecast, including severe weather watches and warnings. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 5:03:19 PM EDT
The condition of crops is ‘just not improving so far,’ but there’s some hope ahead
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 6:50:16 PM EDT
The system was packing 30-mph sustained winds on Monday afternoon, and if it reaches tropical storm strength, it will be named Chantal.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 3:05:31 PM EDT
Summer activities came to a tragic halt in Indiana and Florida this weekend after thunderstorms unleashed deadly and damaging lightning strikes.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 3:16:28 PM EDT
After a deadly heat wave baked the northeastern US over the weekend, violent thunderstorms and flooding downpours are sweeping across the region and signaling an end to the torrid weather.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 2:08:35 PM EDT
A significant part of the Northeast baked over the weekend -- especially where some metropolitan areas only "cooled off" to lows of 83 at night.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 12:00:14 PM EDT
Downpours are set to expand over more than 90 percent of India this week as some locations continue to endure life-threatening flooding.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 3:16:05 PM EDT
The North American monsoon is ramping up across the southwestern United States after one of the latest starts on record this week.
Weather News - July 22, 2019, 10:35:20 AM EDT
Intense heat is set to build across much of the United Kingdom this week and will be accompanied by high humidity.