Strong Storms, Flooding Downpours Roll Across Midwest
UPDATED 3:15 AM CDT, June 20, 2012
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen
Dangerous thunderstorms are rumbling across Nebraska and South Dakota early this morning. Though these storms will pack a punch with hail and gusty winds, intense lightning and flooding downpours are becoming the bigger concern.
Severe Thunderstorm Watches stretch from northwestern and north-central Nebraska into far west-central Minnesota, including Pierre, S.D., and Valentine, Neb.
Fresh thunderstorms continue to roll at a painstakingly slow pace across northwestern Nebraska, much of South Dakota and extreme west-central Minnesota this morning. The storms are drawing upon a clash between very warm, humid air south of a warm front draped from Nebraska to western Wisconsin with cooler, Canadian dry air along the U.S. Northern-Tier.
Not only is hail up to the size of golf balls and damaging wind gusts in excess of 70 mph a concern, but the repeated storm track over the same locations is ratcheting up the flash flooding threat. Feeding off plenty of Gulf of Mexico moisture, the strongest thunderstorms will squeeze out 2 to 4 inches of rain in a short time. This will overwhelm rivers, streams and creeks, as well as clog areas of poor drainage in urban centers.
Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don't Drown!" Even the Twin Cities through the Minnesota Arrowhead won't escape Mother Nature's wrath today. Though the storms won't attain severe limits, the grinding eastward push will mean heavy rain piling up for many of the same Upper Midwest residents as was common on Tuesday.
Flash Flood Warnings and Watches remain in effect for this morning and today for parts of eastern South Dakota, as well as much of central and eastern Minnesota. Cities include Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth, Minn. In all, 1 to 3 inches of rain will be common, with the higher totals eclipsing 4 inches by tonight.
Fortunately, high pressure sliding along the Rocky Mountain Front Range will usher in a much-needed weather change for the tail end of the work week. Instead of all the recent storminess, refreshing 60s and 70s will funnel out of Canada into the U.S. Northern-Tier.
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