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No break in sight for rain-weary central US with more downpours, severe weather on the way

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 17, 2019, 12:15:48 PM EDT

An active weather pattern will bring several more days of flooding rainfall and severe thunderstorms to central portions of the country.

Storm after storm will emerge from the Colorado Rockies this week and track through the Plains before sending rain into the Ohio Valley and Northeast.

This persistence of storms will bring rounds of heavy rain over the same areas through the middle of the week.

"Areas that are forecast to be hit the hardest include northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and southern Missouri," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

Flood Risk S Central Thru Wed 3 pm

Cities such as Oklahoma City, Dallas, Little Rock and Springfield, Missouri, could have rainfall totals of 4 inches to as much as the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches through Wednesday.

Several other cities, although out of this heaviest corridor of rain, will see plenty of wet weather over the coming days. St Louis, Indianapolis, Paducah, Kentucky, and Nashville will also have waves of heavy rain into midweek.

The already soggy growing season has caused agriculture delays for many across the central U.S. and the Midwest. The addition of more rainfall in the coming week could have farmers running out of time to plant many types of crops.

Those traveling will also want to keep an eye on the sky through midweek.

The heavy downpours could bring streams over local roadways, as well as reduce visibility for drivers. Motorists, especially those on higher-speed roadways such as I-30, I-35, I-40 and I-44, should keep this in mind.


This aerial photo shows flooding along the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Ark., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Since then, water levels on much of the Arkansas, including Pine Bluff have fallen below flood stage. (Photo/DroneBase via AP)

"Since water levels have recently fallen along many of the major rivers in the region, such as the Arkansas and middle Mississippi, an immediate rebound in river flooding is not likely," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Pine Bluff River Gauge

"However, we will have to watch how much and how often rain falls on these watersheds and others for a potential response from the rivers in the form of renewed flooding as the month progresses."

Accompanying the heavy rain across the center of the country will also be the threat for severe weather.

There were several reports of tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa and Indiana at the start of the weekend. The confirmed tornadoes have mostly damaged areas in Indiana and Illinois, according to the NWS reports, damaging not just trees and power lines, but also homes as well.

Sawyerville, Illinois tornado

A tornado north of Sawyerville, Illinois, tore up trees and damaged at least one house according to the National Weather Service. (Twitter/@AceJachino)

"The axis of storms will shift slightly south through the early week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said.

The main area of severe thunderstorms will stretch from the Ohio Valley to the mid- and lower-Mississippi Valley through Tuesday.

However, heavy, gusty and even brief severe thunderstorms can extend beyond this swath.

The main threats with these thunderstorms will be drenching downpours, hail and damaging winds. Isolated tornadoes are also possible.

More rainfall will lead to rising stream levels, water-covered roadways and interruptions to outdoor plans.

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"The storm evolution could be rather disorganized with multiple clusters of storms in this region moving in different directions," added Vido.

Sunday afternoon, strong winds reaching up to 66 mph around Fort Worth, Texas, caused damage to homes and trees. As of early Monday morning, there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.

(Photo/National Weather Service)

A wooden beam impaled the windshield of this car in the EF2 tornado that struck Oakville, Iowa, Saturday evening.


A tornado north of Sawyerville, Illinois, tore up trees and damaged at least one house according to the National Weather Service.

(NWS Survey)

In the severe weather that swept through the central U.S. over the weekend, an EF2 tornado tore through Oakville, Iowa, just before 8:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The tornado damaged a home, a big farm building and a wooden high power transmission line according to the National Weather Service survey report.

(NWS Survey)

An EF2 tornado struck Oakville, Iowa, Saturday just before 8:30 p.m. CDT, tearing apart trees and tossing around equipment, chairs and anything else exposed to the storm.

(NWS Survey)

The scattered remains of a building lie in a field in Oakville, Iowa, after an EF2 tornado hit on Saturday evening, June 15, 2019.

(NWS Survey)

Debris lies scattered across a field in Oakland, Iowa, after an EF2 tornado struck the area Saturday evening, June 15, 2019.

(NWS Survey)

The EF2 tornado that hit Oakville, Iowa on Sunday evening didn't spare this car, sending debris smashing into the windshield.


Winds up to 66 mph tore through Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday afternoon, destroying structures like this fence and knocking over a swing set.


Strong gusts of wind in Fort Worth, Texas, knocked down fences such as this one on Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reports wind speeds of up to 66 mph in the area.


After severe weather and 60 mph wind tore through the area, residents of Fort Worth, Texas, emerged from their homes to assess the damage on Sunday afternoon.


Strong winds blew through Tarrant County, Texas, Sunday afternoon, damaging homes and trees like in this neighborhood in North Richland Hills.


High speed winds snapped trees in North Richland Hills, Texas, Sunday afternoon amid severe weather. In some areas of Tarrant County, the wind speed reached up to 66 mph.


Split trees and high speed winds threatened the safety of homes on Sunday afternoon as severe weather tracked through Tarrant County, Texas. According to over 50,000 customers in the county were left without electricity at one point in the day.


As of Sunday evening, the National Weather Service has not published any reports on possible tornadoes in Fort Worth, Texas from Sunday afternoon. However, the strong winds in the area were enough to down several trees and damage properties.


Strong winds across Fort Worth, Texas, knocked down trees such as this one, causing property damage to homes and cars.


Severe weather with strong winds tore through Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday afternoon, knocking over trees like this one and threatening to damage homes.


Strong winds causing damage to trees threatened homes in parts of Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday afternoon as severe weather swept through the area.


The strong winds that blew through Warrant County, Texas, caused tree and property damage, such as to this roof.

Residents spending time outdoors should be prepared to take shelter indoors should they hear thunder. If you are able to hear thunder, you are close enough to a thunderstorm to be struck by lightning.

Just earlier this week, two teens in Pennsylvania were killed when a bolt of lightning struck near them while they were outside fishing. So far in 2019, the total of reported lightning-related deaths stands at four.

A small adjustment in the jet stream later in the week could lead to a brief break for some locations. However, frequent storms will continue to track from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic coast, bringing more chances for rain.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how much rain is anticipated in your community and to remain abreast of the latest flood advisories. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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