Severe Thunderstorms Eye Midwest, Plains
UPDATED 8:30 PM CDT, June 20, 2012
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal
Stormy weather continues to annoy portions of the central U.S., as a cold front ever-so-slowly creeps through the Plains. The strongest storms are located in the south-central Plains from Kansas to the northern Texas Panhandle.
Sparking the dangerous thunderstorms is an eastward trudging cold front draped from Minnesota`s Arrowhead all the way to the Texas Panhandle. Out ahead of it, widespread 80s and 90s along with high humidity stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes has been dueling with much cooler and drier 60s and 70s.
Most of the strong thunderstorm activity has already collapsed across Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan, the storm activity further to the south across the southern Plains. A line of powerful thunderstorms is making its way through southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, and will slide across the Texas Panhandle later tonight.
The biggest concerns with the thunderstorms will be damaging wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, though golf ball size hail will be possible. In addition to the severe weather aspect, the storms will also produce intense lightning and could trigger flash flooding. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown!"
Thus far this week, the Midwest and Great Lakes has been the centerpiece for severe weather. Monday produced hail up to golf ball size in several communities across Wisconsin and Michigan, including near Escanaba, Mich., as well as Colby and Winchester, Wis. A camper trailer was destroyed in Angelica, Wis. Tuesday brought damaging winds to Washington Island, Wis., where trees were knocked down. Hail up to quarter size and 50 to 60 mph wind gusts blasted through Suring, Wis., on Tuesday. Today`s weather brought egg-sized hail to Russell, Kan., and 65 mph winds to Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Fortunately, the early-week severe weather will come to a culmination by early Thursday as strong high pressure centered along the East Coast weakens and allows the cold front to make some eastward progress. Instead of high heat and humidity, residents along the U.S. Northern Tier will be treated to refreshing Canadian high pressure and temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
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