More severe storms to rumble, downpours to flood part of central US

Rounds of downpours and thunderstorms will continue to threaten some communities of the central United States with flooding and severe weather through much of the first week of July, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

As fronts and weather disturbances continue to push from west to east along the northern edge of a dome of hot and humid air over the southern United States early this week, thunderstorms will erupt and turn severe at a local to regional level. Each system will bring an uptick in storms preceded by a surge in warmth and humidity, followed by breaks of cooler conditions from the northern Plains to the Midwest.

Following weekend severe storms in parts of the Central and Eastern states, the risk of severe weather will push eastward across the central and northern Plains to the Midwest into Tuesday, with the threat zone extending from southwestern Wisconsin to the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas.


A zone where severe thunderstorms are forecast to be numerous from Tuesday to Tuesday night will be bounded by Omaha, Nebraska, Des Moines, Iowa, Topeka, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. This area may also be at a higher risk for a couple of tornadoes in the most intense storms packing high winds, hail and flash flooding.

On Wednesday, the severe weather threat zone will extend from western and central New York to northern Arkansas and western Tennessee. As storms progress through this 1,100-mile-long swath, more storms will erupt once again over the High Plains and trend severe later in the day.

By Thursday afternoon and night, the severe weather threat will encompass much of Missouri, eastern Kansas western Illinois and southern Iowa.

Anywhere the storms overlap from day to day or repeat over certain parts of the day, the risk of flash flooding will be greatest.

Drenching downpours will occur over a region that has been hit hard by river flooding in the past couple of weeks, as well as new territory of the Plains and Midwest.

Many of the rivers from northeastern Nebraska to northern and western Iowa, southeastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota have surged to major to record-high flood levels in recent days. Early indications are that another 2-4 inches of rain will pour down on part of this zone from Monday through Tuesday, which could bring new rises on some of the rivers.

As the surge of water from torrential rainfall in June works downstream into the larger river systems in the region, water levels will surge even in areas that have largely missed out on heavy rain in prior days and weeks.

Any additional rain as the surge moves through a region can worsen matters. Official National Weather Service forecast river levels have already trended higher compared to predictions from early last week at a number of locations along the lower portion of the Missouri River and the middle portion of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River at multiple points along Iowa and Illinois will be at major flood stage during the first week of July. Unprotected communities and farmland may be underwater for an extended period. It may take a few weeks until waters drop below flood stage on some of the largest rivers in the region, including the middle portion of the Mississippi.

The surge of water moving downstream along the middle and upper portion of the Mississippi will affect lock and dam operations and may limit or shut down barge traffic for a time.

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