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Severe weather outbreak to rattle midwestern US into Monday night

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 8/21/2017 Kyle Elliott
Severe weather outbreak to rattle midwestern US into Monday night © NOAA Severe weather outbreak to rattle midwestern US into Monday night

As hot and humid air clashes with a surge of fall-like air diving southward out of Canada, the stage will be set for widespread, destructive thunderstorms early this week across the Midwest.

On a day that will feature the first visible total solar eclipse in the continental United States in the past 40 years, Mother Nature threatens to not only hamper viewing conditions, but also heighten the risk to lives and property.

A large area from southeastern South Dakota and eastern Nebraska to Iowa, southern Minnesota, northern Missouri and western Wisconsin may face destructive thunderstorms into Monday night.

Drenching thunderstorms erupted across western Iowa Sunday night and will move eastward through early Monday afternoon.

“Storms moving across Iowa and northern Illinois through early Monday afternoon could negatively impact eclipse viewing conditions,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. He added that the bulk of the clouds and rain may stay north of southern Illinois, however, which lies in the path of totality.

More numerous and dangerous severe thunderstorms are in store for areas farther west later Monday afternoon and evening.

Storms should first erupt across portions of southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska on Monday afternoon.

“While damaging winds, flooding downpours and large hail will be the primary hazards from these storms, an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out,” Pydynowski said.

The greatest risk for tornadoes should occur within the first few hours after the storms erupt before transitioning to a wind and flood threat by Monday evening.

Motorists traveling across large stretches of interstates 80, 90 and 35 will face blinding downpours, rapid reductions in roadway visibility and major travel delays through Monday night.

Storms may disrupt the evening rush hour and heighten the risk of motor vehicle accidents in Minneapolis; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa, as torrents of rain lead to ponding of water on roadways.

Residents throughout the Midwest should keep a weather radio handy, monitor the latest severe weather warnings and prepare for potential power outages and property damage from downed trees or power lines.

By Monday night, the storms should shift eastward into Wisconsin, western Illinois and northern Missouri, reaching Chicago and St. Louis during the second half of the night. How well the storms maintain their strength during the overnight hours will determine the extent of any potential damage.

The threat for severe weather will shift eastward into the Ohio Valley and Northeast by Tuesday as tranquil conditions and fall-like air invade the Midwest.

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