Rounds of rain, locally severe storms to threaten north-central US into Thursday

Renee Duff

The north-central United States will be subject to daily rounds of soaking rainfall and severe weather before drier air moves in at the end of the week.

"A storm system typical of fall will gradually take shape across the region through Thursday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said. "This will bring everything from rain and chilly air on its northern and western side to warm, humid air and severe thunderstorms to its south."

One round of stormy weather swept through on Monday, with wind damage reported in Iowa and a few tornadoes spotted in northeastern South Dakota.

A second round of severe weather that erupted in eastern Wyoming, northern Nebraska and southern South Dakota on Tuesday afternoon produced over a dozen reports of tornadoes, including one that caused extensive damage in Sioux Falls, and three dozen reports of hail.

Another round of violent thunderstorms is expected to ignite across parts of South Dakota and Nebraska late Wednesday, with locally heavy thunderstorms extending as far east as Wisconsin.

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"As severe thunderstorms remain discrete initially again on Wednesday, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes can occur," Rathbun said.

"Thereafter, damaging winds and flash flooding will become the primary threats as storms merge into a squall line," he added.

Residents are reminded to seek shelter indoors at the first clap of thunder to avoid a potentially deadly lightning strike.

To the north of the severe weather, AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that enough rain will fall from Montana to the Dakotas, Minnesota and western Wisconsin to cause flooding issues into Thursday. At the very least, disruptions to travel are likely to occur.

Motorists traveling on stretches of interstates 29, 35, 80, 90 and 94 over the next few days should remain vigilant of the threat for downpours that can drastically reduce visibility on the roadways and create a heightened risk of hydroplaning.

Closures are possible on secondary roadways due to flooding.

By Thursday, a push of cooler air will shut off the risk of severe weather across the northern Plains. However, steady rain will still dampen portions of the Dakotas.

The violent weather will press eastward on Thursday, with areas from southern Minnesota and Wisconsin to Missouri and eastern Kansas expected to be in the path of a damaging line of thunderstorms.

Behind the rain and thunderstorms, gusty winds will whip in with the cooler air across the northern tier late this week.

"Gusts between 30-50 mph can make for dangerous crosswinds on north-south running highways," Rathbun said.