On the rim of a searing dome of heat entrenched across the Plains and Deep South, severe thunderstorms will rumble from parts of South Dakota to northern Missouri today.
A slow-moving and nearly stationary frontal boundary will provide the focus for severe thunderstorms to thrive and locally cause damage. This boundary will separate warm but generally pleasant temperatures to the north and scorching hot weather to the south.
Cities who will need to keep watch for ominous skies today include Lincoln and Omaha, Neb. In addition, communities located in southwestern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and northwestern Missouri will need to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions.
Many of the places that will see severe thunderstorms today will also be affected by the sizzling heat. Those who are hoping to cool off for a time during the day may have to do so at the expense of a severe thunderstorm.
The greatest risks from thunderstorms today include drenching downpours, large hail and strong, locally damaging wind gusts.
With so much heat and moisture in place, any torrential downpour will have the capability of causing some flash flooding. Low-lying and poor drainage areas are especially at risk. If you come to face a flooded roadway, NEVER attempt to cross it. Turn around and find an alternative route to your destination.
The blazing heat will also prime the atmosphere for large hailstones to the size of golf balls and fierce wind gusts past 60 mph. Hail and wind gusts of this magnitude can cause significant damage to automobiles, homes and vegetation.
Additionally, any thunderstorm can produce frequent, dangerous lightning. If you are outside and a thunderstorm is approaching, seek shelter immediately and stay away from windows. Those who will be cooling off by a pool or lake will need to be prepared to head indoors at the first sign of lightning.
As the core of the heat expands eastward into the weekend, so will the risk for strong and locally damaging thunderstorms. Disturbances high up in the atmosphere combined with oppressive heat and humidity at the surface will set the stage for thunderstorms stretching from the Upper Midwest to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic through the weekend.
As always, keep checking back with AccuWeather.com for the latest severe weather updates.
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