Severe thunderstorms, flooding rainfall to target millions across central, eastern US

·3 min read

A series of storms charging across the country will set the stage for rounds of explosive thunderstorm development and heavy rainfall through midweek across the central and eastern United States.

Round one of thunderstorm activity roared to life on Sunday across far northeastern Kansas before trekking over state lines into northwestern Missouri. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings continued across the state of Missouri as additional thunderstorm activity erupted throughout the afternoon and evening.

Tornadic thunderstorms continued to march eastward by Sunday evening, prompting tornado warnings in the southern St. Louis metropolitan area. Reports of extensive damage from a likely tornado also came out of St. Mary, Missouri, Sunday evening. After marching through the state of Missouri, thunderstorm activity then began to expand into central and southern Illinois Sunday night.

Radar imagery Sunday evening across southeast Missouri and southern Illinois show supercell thunderstorms marching eastward (AccuWeather).

Cities along Interstate 80 from Des Moines, Iowa to Cleveland, Ohio, experienced a steady rain throughout the day on Sunday, delivering a widespread swath of at least 1-3 inches of rain along this corridor. Rain will begin to taper off in this zone in a west-to-east fashion through the day on Monday, but not before an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches of rain is possible in some areas.

The parent storm responsible for Sunday's severe thunderstorms and heavy rain will shift eastward on Monday, refocusing the threat for thunderstorms and flooding rainfall farther east.

While the atmospheric setup for severe weather on Monday is not quite as impressive as Sunday's setup, all of the ingredients needed for damaging thunderstorms will still be in play. Spanning across the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys, the southern Appalachians, and into the piedmont of the Carolinas, the threat for damaging wind gusts, hail and an isolated tornado are all possible.

Larger metropolitan areas that lie within this risk zone include Knoxville, Tennessee, Charleston, West Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia.

A steady, soaking rain will continue to fall north of where the severe thunderstorm threat resides. From the Great Lakes into New England, a grey, chilly, wet and nasty Monday is in store.

The severe thunderstorm threat will diminish across the Eastern states by Tuesday as the storm slides off the East coast. Heavy rain may continue to be a concern in New York City and Boston as the storm is expected to intensify and gain characteristics of a nor'easter off the coast.

Focusing on the risk for severe thunderstorms, attention will shift back to the Plains on Tuesday. The bomb cyclone responsible for bringing heavy rain and snow to the West will begin to march out of the Rockies and into the Plains, setting the stage for another round of severe weather.

An atmospheric wildcard may enter the picture across the southern Plains and Gulf Coast states by midweek, as remaining upper-level energy from Hurricane Rick is expected to lift north of the Mexican border. The potential interaction between the storm exiting the West and what remains of Rick could bring about yet another round of severe weather on Wednesday across the South.

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