Severe storms to precede sweep of cooler air in midwestern US this week

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 25, 2018, 1:58:01 AM EDT

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A switch to a cooler weather pattern in the midwestern United States will come at the expense of locally violent thunderstorms prior to the middle of the week.

“A storm system will zip eastward out of the northern Rockies and into the central Plains through midweek and trigger rounds of strong to severe storms,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

Eastern portions of Wyoming, the Black Hills of South Dakota and western Nebraska were hit by feisty storms on Tuesday night.

The greatest risk of severe storms on a regional basis during Wednesday afternoon and evening will extend from western Iowa to northeastern New Mexico, eastern Kansas and southeastern Wyoming.

Static Wednesday Plains Severe

“The primary threats from the storms will be brief, heavy downpours, damaging wind gusts upwards of 60 mph and large hail,” Elliott said.

The severe storms are likely to be isolated in nature and not widespread. However, a couple of the strongest storms could produce a brief tornado.

As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, head indoors immediately. If no building is nearby, a hard-top vehicle is also a suitable shelter from lightning.

Last Friday, a woman was left in critical condition after she was struck by lightning at an outdoor music festival in Wisconsin, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

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Behind the storms, temperatures will drop below late-July normals, allowing residents to give air conditioners a break, crack open the windows and take part in outdoor activities with less strain.

“A large area of cool, Canadian high pressure will settle into the northern Plains and bring more comfortable air to the region,” Elliott said.

Late week outlook 7.24 AM

Temperatures may trend to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit below average late-July levels during the latter part of the week.

In Rapid City, South Dakota, highs that reached the middle 80s on Tuesday are forecast to be replaced with highs in the 70s from Wednesday to the end of the week.

Cooling will then follow farther east, with the refreshing air set to overtake Minneapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Madison, Wisconsin, by Thursday.

The cooler-than-average conditions are expected to last right into the coming weekend.

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