You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Storm-ravaged central US braces for more tornadoes, flooding into Tuesday

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 5/26/2019 kristina.pydynowski

a close up of a map: Sun severe May 26 pm

Sun severe May 26 pm
© Provided by Accuweather, Inc

It will be no rest for the weary across the central United States as lives and property will continue to be threatened by severe weather and flooding this Memorial Day holiday weekend and into Tuesday.

"The overall weather pattern that has been in place across the U.S. will continue early this week, which will bring more rounds of severe weather to the Plains," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

"The main focus of thunderstorms into Sunday night will be from western Texas into the central Plains," Rathbun stated. "The risk may also expand into parts of South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, which have not received much in the way of severe weather over the past week."

The severe weather will continue to ignite across the High Plains late on Sunday, threatening Tucumcari, New Mexico; Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas; Lamar and Limon, Colorado; Garden City and Colby, Kansas; Sidney, Nebraska; and Rapid City, South Dakota.

The violent thunderstorms may erupt not too far to the east of downtown Denver.

Within this corridor, the area at greatest risk for devastating tornadoes (EF2 strength or higher) lies from the northern Texas Panhandle to western Kansas and neighboring parts of Colorado.

There can also be incidents of damaging baseball-sized or greater hail, which can severely injure or kill any person or animal caught outside during the storm.

Motorists planning to travel on stretches of interstates 40 and 70 should remain extremely vigilant and ready to seek shelter. A vehicle is never a safe place to be during a tornado.

The drenching and violent thunderstorms will then race eastward across the central Plains on Sunday night, inundating Wichita, Kansas, and Omaha, Nebraska.

The worst of the severe weather is expected to bypass El Reno, Oklahoma, the site of Saturday night's deadly tornado. A shower or thunderstorm may still soak the devastated community later on Sunday night.

"While the threats for hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will continue for Sunday, flooding is starting to become the most worrisome impact," according to Rathbun. "The central Plains is already dealing with moderate to major flooding from all the rain this month."

Slideshow by photo services

A quick 1-2 inches of rain will easily aggravate flooding from northern Oklahoma to Iowa. In the hardest-hit areas, it may take less than an inch of rain in one to three hours for flooding to worsen.

Wichita has measured nearly 12 inches of rain so far this May, through Sunday morning. The additional rain this holiday weekend and then again on Tuesday can make this month the wettest May (beating May 2008 and its 13.14 inches) and all-time wettest month (surpassing June 1923 and its 14.43 inches).

"While the threat for severe weather will continue on Monday, the atmosphere is likely to bring a more isolated coverage of storms," Rathbun stated.

Residents should still closely monitor cell phones and weather radios when enjoying Memorial Day picnics, parades and other outdoor activities.

Downloading the free AccuWeather app and enabling audible alerts on your cell phone is a great way to receive severe weather bulletins as they are issued so you can seek shelter.

The risk for severe weather on Monday, mainly in the afternoon and at night, will extend along a narrow corridor from the Texas Panhandle to west-central Kansas. The threat zone will also stretch from Nebraska to Iowa, northern Illinois (mainly south of Chicago) and into central Indiana.

An isolated stronger thunderstorm rumbling over southeastern Wyoming cannot be ruled out.

North of the severe weather, heavy rain threatens to spoil Memorial Day festivities and trigger flooding from southern Minnesota, including Minneapolis, to Wisconsin. A separate area of heavy rain with a risk of flooding will develop across eastern Wyoming, Monday into Tuesday.

The severe weather threat across the Plains may ramp up again Tuesday afternoon and night from eastern Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois to western Arkansas, Oklahoma and northeastern Texas.

Once again, the communities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis, Missouri; and Des Moines, Iowa, will be at risk.

The threat may also spread southward to Dallas.

All modes of severe weather, including tornadoes, are expected on Tuesday.

In addition to what fell last week, there can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of rainfall in the areas of the Central states that receive rounds of heavy rainfall from Sunday night into Tuesday night.

The central Plains may finally welcome much-needed drier weather Wednesday into Thursday. A part of Oklahoma, Arkansas and northern Texas may have to endure more violent thunderstorms and flooding at midweek before the drier air sweeps in on Thursday.

"However, there are early indications this weather pattern could return next weekend and into the following week with more rounds of severe weather across the central U.S.," Rathbun said.

Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


More From AccuWeather

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon