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Strong to locally severe thunderstorms are forecast to erupt on the rim of a large swath of hot and humid air over the north-central Plains and the Upper Midwest this week.
People venturing outdoors should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions, especially during the afternoon and evening hours.
Wind gusts to 70 mph cannot be ruled out in the strongest storms. The risk of flash flooding will accompany the storms as well.
During Wednesday evening and night, the severe weather threat is likely to continue to escalate.
As a storm moves across the northern Plains, it is forecast to produce a large swath of powerful thunderstorms.
"The storms, which may last into the overnight hours, may bring damaging winds, large hail and localized urban flooding," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Richard Schraeger.
"The tornado threat is low, but a few isolated spin-ups cannot be ruled out."
The threat of severe weather into Wednesday night is expected to extend from northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Nebraska and the northeastern corner of Colorado.
Major cities that may be affected by the storms include Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis; Sioux City, Iowa; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
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The storms will arrive just in time for the Fourth of July holiday and can put cookouts, festivities and fireworks in jeopardy during the Fourth of July in Minneapolis.
"Anyone spending the holiday outdoors will want to enable audible alerts on cell phones to receive severe weather bulletins as they are issued and seek shelter indoors as soon as thunder is heard," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Residents and visitors may have to settle on nature’s fireworks if officials deem the weather too hazardous to let Wednesday’s evening displays proceed as planned, she added
Motorists traveling on portions of interstates 80, 90 and 94 should be prepared for rapid reductions in roadway visibility and reduce speed in blinding downpours to minimize the risk of hydroplaning.
Some parts of the Upper Midwest at risk for storms this week have been hit hard by flooding over the last two weeks, so any additional rainfall in a short amount of time can trigger new flooding concerns.
While rain is needed in parts of the Plains and Midwest, any persistent downpours will aggravate the flooding situation in parts of Iowa, southern Missouri, northwestern Illinois and northern Missouri.
By Thursday and Friday, much cooler and less humid air will plunge southward from Canada with the main focus from the upper Mississippi Valley on east.
The leading edge of the cooler air will continue to set off showers and heavy, gusty thunderstorms.
On Thursday, these storms will be centered from the middle and lower Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley and central Plains.
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A new round of severe weather is threatening lives from Ohio through Tennessee and will continue into Friday night.
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A town in Iowa was severely damaged by a tornado on Thursday, while strong storms led to a tour boat disaster in Missouri that killed 17.
A boat carrying 31 people capsized on a lake near Branson, Missouri, as thunderstorms moved through the area on Thursday evening.
The risk of severe thunderstorms, including isolated tornadoes, will progress farther to the east and south over the central United States into Friday night.
Severe thunderstorms tracked across Iowa on Thursday afternoon with several tornadoes touching down across the state.
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