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Threat for severe weather to shift into north-central Plains, Midwest

By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 25, 2019, 3:22:37 AM EDT

After a storm system brought days of violent thunderstorms brought hundreds of incidents of wind damage to the central and southeastern United States, the threat for severe weather will finally shift farther north by the middle of this week.

The weather pattern will change in the wake of this system, and a northward push in the jet stream will bring about this change.

"This will help to shift the stormy weather northward into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, while the central Rockies, central Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley have a drier period," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.

“By the middle of the week, a corridor from eastern Montana through the Dakotas and much of the Midwest can face frequent bouts of these violent storms,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.

Midweek Central US 3 pm

The first round of storms is forecast to erupt across the Dakotas on Wednesday afternoon and dive southward into parts of Nebraska or Iowa into Wednesday night. Another complex of storms may erupt in eastern Montana.

By Thursday, another batch of storms is expected to fire up slightly farther east of where Wednesday’s storms ignite. Parts of western and southern Minnesota and all of Iowa may face the greatest risk for feisty storms on Thursday.

At the same time, a storm system emerging into the northern Plains could trigger yet another complex of storms in eastern Montana that barrels eastward into North Dakota Thursday night.

The main threats from these storms will be from flooding downpours and damaging winds, but large hail and a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out, especially in the first few hours after the storms develop each day.

An organized derecho, or long-lived line of powerful storms that cause extensive wind damage, cannot be ruled out this week, according to Boston.

A dome of high pressure bulging northward into the Central states during the second half of the week will allow plenty of heat and humidity to surge northward toward the Canadian border.

It is the periphery of this heat dome that will serve as the train tracks along which the storms will develop and ride.

The latest update from the United States Drought Monitor, released on June 20, showed that moderate to severe drought has developed across northern North Dakota and extreme northeastern Montana.

Any rain in these areas this week may actually be more beneficial than harmful, but areas south of the drought zone do not need any more rain.

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“While the steamy weather will have people flocking to local lakes, pools and streams, it will be important for anyone outdoors to have a way to be notified when severe weather threatens,” Duff warned.

Residents from Great Falls, Montana, to Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota; Minneapolis; Aberdeen and Pierre, South Dakota; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa, should download the free AccuWeather app to receive severe weather alerts as soon as they are issued this week.

As soon as thunder is heard, move indoors as it is at this time that lightning is close enough to strike.

Those living in the midweek threat zone should also be sure to have a backup generator handy in the event that power is lost for a prolonged period of time.

Although lives and property in the northern tier of the United States will be at risk from the storms, the northward shift of the stormy weather will be good news for those in the central and southern Plains who are weary of storm and flood damage cleanup.

While storms can still occasionally pulse through these areas this week, the risk of widespread severe weather will be much lower than in recent days.

Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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