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Heavy rain, severe storms to pummel central US into Monday

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 19, 2018, 10:11:44 PM EDT

A sweep of cooler air in the central United States will be preceded by disruptive downpours and locally severe thunderstorms into the start of the new week.

The stormy conditions will not only put a damper on outdoor activities and slow travel, but also bring flooding dangers to some communities.

Downpours will continue to advance from the Plains to the Mississippi Valley into Monday.

Into Sunday night, areas from Pierre, South Dakota, to Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; and Des Moines, Iowa, are in line to get a thorough soaking and may experience flooding problems.

Residents living near small streams or in flood-prone areas should be on the lookout for rising water levels.

Downpours Aug 19

People traveling along interstates 35, 70, 80 and 90 should prepare for slowdowns amid the downpours and be wary of standing water on the roadways.

If high water overtakes a roadway, motorists are reminded to never attempt to drive through the floodwaters.

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Meanwhile, the stage is set for violent thunderstorms to erupt around Arkansas into Sunday night. Little Rock and Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Springfield, Missouri, are among the communities at risk.

Damaging winds, hail, frequent lightning and flooding downpours will be the greatest dangers from the storms. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

New severe Aug 19

As soon as thunder is heard or lightning is seen, seek shelter immediately.

On Saturday evening, storms that moved through Oklahoma injured 14 patrons at an outdoor concert.

Stay up to date with the latest severe weather and flood alerts by downloading the free AccuWeather app.

Monday storms Aug 19

The flood risk will not end with the close of the weekend.

Rain and locally severe storms will settle over the Mississippi Valley on Monday, with the greatest risk of flooding expected to target the middle and upper portions of the region. Severe thunderstorms may fire from southern Illinois to northeastern Louisiana in the afternoon.

The core of heaviest rain may stay south of Minneapolis, but could cause travel headaches in Chicagoland as commuters head home on Monday.

Any non-flooding rainfall into early week will help to ease the pockets of drought over the central Plains.

As the downpours shift into the Great Lakes and Northeast prior to the middle of the week, Vido expects cooler, less humid conditions to take control of the nation's midsection.

Denver's low temperature on Sunday night could come within a few degrees of the record of 47.

Tuesday Aug 18

Highs in Oklahoma City will be held to the lower 80s through the first half of the week, well below the average high in the lower 90s.

Highs in the 70s will complement the drier air following the downpours across the upper Mississippi Valley and western Great Lakes on Tuesday.

“It will feel refreshing for outdoor plans and projects, and encourage lower regional cooling demand,” Vido said.

While most of the region can expect dry weather to accompany the more comfortable conditions, systems ejecting out of the Rockies may put the central and southern Plains at risk for thunderstorms around midweek.

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