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Severe weather to shift into midwestern US on Thursday

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 9/12/2019 Kyle Elliott
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The same storm system responsible for spawning multiple days of severe weather in the central and northern Plains this week will target the Midwest with violent thunderstorms on Thursday.

Three tornadoes that hit Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Tuesday night caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and an area hospital as the storm system began to gather strength over the Plains.

As the storm system lifts into northern Minnesota by Thursday night, a trailing cold front will serve as the focal point for yet another round of severe weather on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The storms are forecast to first erupt across southern portions of Minnesota, west-central Iowa, northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas Thursday afternoon before pushing eastward into southwestern Wisconsin, western Illinois and central Missouri later Thursday evening.

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Cities such as Des Moines, Iowa; Rockford, Illinois; and Kansas City, Missouri, lie within Thursday's threat zone.

The primary threats from Thursday's storms will be damaging wind gusts and flooding downpours, but large hail and isolated tornadoes are also possible in the first few hours after storm initiation.

Motorists should expect slow travel and rapidly changing roadway conditions on portions of interstates 35, 70, 80 and 90 that could be impacted by dangerous weather into Thursday night.

Be sure to slow down to minimize the risk for hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds, and never drive through a flooded roadway. It only takes about 12 to 18 inches of moving water to sweep a vehicle away.

Anybody with outdoor plans should keep an eye on the sky and remain abreast of the latest severe weather alerts in order to be prepared to seek shelter indoors, away from doors and windows, when storms arrive.

If you can hear thunder, then you are close enough to the storm to be at risk of being struck by lightning.

While most storms should produce wind gusts of 50-60 mph, there can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 70 mph in the strongest storms.

Winds of this magnitude can bring down trees and power lines, toss around loose objects and tear shingles off roofs.

By the time the storms move through Chicago later Thursday night, they are expected to be much weaker than in areas farther west as the energy supporting the storms continues to lift northward toward the Canadian border.

In the wake of the storms, dry and comfortable conditions are expected to sweep back into the Midwest on Friday and aid in cleanup and recovery efforts throughout the region.

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