Repeated soaking storms to pelt central US with severe weather into Thursday
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 18, 2018, 9:38:34 PM EDT
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Rounds of thunderstorms packing torrential rain and gusty winds will erupt along a temperature contrast zone across the Great Plains through the middle days of this week.
Complexes of thunderstorms are forecast to continue to develop and move southward and eastward through Thursday.
On occasion, the storms may ramp up quickly and become severe.
"The repeating and slow-moving nature of the storms combined with the high moisture content in the atmosphere will elevate the risk of flash flooding," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
Flash flooding can occur in urban, suburban and rural areas.
The storms also have the potential to cause power outages from strong wind gusts and frequent lightning strikes.
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"In one hour, during Tuesday morning, there were more than 2,000 lightning strikes in central Kansas alone," Doll said.
Into Wednesday night, another complex of thunderstorms is expected to stretch from the eastern part of the Dakotas and western Minnesota to Arkansas.
The greatest risk of storms with damaging winds and the risk of a few isolated tornadoes is projected to extend from southeastern South Dakota to east-central Nebraska and western Iowa into Wednesday night.
On Thursday, the risk of drenching and locally severe thunderstorms is forecast to shift a bit farther to the east.
While storms with drenching downpours will extend form North Dakota to southern Missouri and central Illinois, the greatest risk of storms with damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes will extend across central and eastern Iowa to northwestern Illinois and northeastern Missouri.
From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. CDT Monday, 1.72 inches of rain fell on Valentine, Nebraska. A few hours later, 1.82 inches of rain fell on Russell, Kansas, during a four-hour period early Tuesday morning.
Portions of southwestern Nebraska and northwestern Kansas received more than 2 inches of rain from the storms Monday night into Tuesday morning.
The storms will generally move along the boundary between cool and dry air in the Midwest and blistering hot and humid air over the southern Plains.
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