Heavy, gusty and locally severe storms to rumble over northern tier of US
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 17, 2019, 9:25:43 AM EDT
Aside from downpours and thunderstorms associated with Barry, the only area at risk for periodic severe thunderstorms will be across the northern tier of the central United States this week.
The storms are forecast to erupt along the northern rim of a large dome of heat that will build over much of the nation this week.
"The risk of rounds of gusty to severe storms will extend from the northern High Plains and parts of the northern Rockies to the central Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes and eventually parts of the central and northern Appalachians," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
This area is where the jet stream will be the strongest and fuel multiple rounds of heavy, gusty and locally severe storms. Heat fuels the storms from the south, while the jet stream provides extra energy and can allow high winds from aloft to sweep down to the surface in the form of strong gusts.
In addition to the storms bringing strong wind gusts, there can be enough rain to trigger flash and urban flooding where the storms repeat.
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Other characteristics associated with the storms will be frequent lightning strikes, and in some cases damaging hail. As is the case with some severe thunderstorms, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
The severe weather threat on Wednesday will focus on an area from southern Minnesota to much of Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa, are among some of the cities at risk for severe thunderstorms into Wednesday night.
Anyone traveling on interstates 35, 80, 90 and 94 in this area will want to be on alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.
"Parts of the Upper Great Lakes will be at risk for locally damaging thunderstorms on Thursday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.
It is possible that the pattern produces long-lived complexes of severe thunderstorms, called derechos.
Derechos produce damaging wind gusts along a several-hundred-mile-long swath and can survive for more than a single day.
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