By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 27,2017, 8:02:51PM,EDT
As warm and more humid air surges northward, the risk of thunderstorms and severe weather will ramp up over parts of the central United States this week.Thunderstorms have been suppressed over much of the Plains and Midwest due to an unusually large shield of dry and cool air for late June.
"The break in severe weather will come to an end over much of the Central states," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
Rural agricultural areas as well as towns and large cities in the region should be prepared for the return of travel disruptions as well as the risk of damaging wind, hail, flooding, isolated tornadoes and power outages.
Storms first erupted over the central and northern High Plains late on Tuesday afternoon and produced hail and wind gusts over 60 mph.
Some of the worst storms impacted southwestern South Dakota with a 70 mph wind gust being measured near Rapid City, South Dakota.
"The strongest storms from northwestern Kansas to western and central North Dakota will be capable of producing all facets of severe weather including high winds, large hail, torrential downpours and even an isolated tornado," Pydynowski said.
"During Tuesday night, the storms will cluster together and may lead to a flooding and damaging wind threat from eastern Nebraska and western Iowa to the eastern part of the Dakotas and western Minnesota," Pydynowski said.
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On Wednesday and Thursday, the severe weather threat will begin to shift eastward and southward. These two days, storms will threaten a more populated area of the middle of the nation.
The risk of severe thunderstorms will extend from the upper part of the Great Lakes to the central Plains at midweek.
The greatest potential for storms packing isolated tornadoes will extend from southern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin to eastern Nebraska, Iowa, northwestern Illinois, northern Missouri and northeastern Kansas on Wednesday.
The severe storms could reach Milwaukee; Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri; and communities in western and northern Michigan late in the day or during Wednesday evening. Storms around the western Great Lakes will carry an elevated risk of damaging winds.
On Thursday, the greatest threat for severe weather may extend from central Nebraska and Kansas to central Illinois. Again, storms can pack damaging winds, downpours and isolated tornadoes in Thursday's threat zone.
Motorists traveling on Interstates 90, 80, 70, 29 and 35 may all face significant travel delays and hazardous driving conditions through Thursday. The storms will cause water to pool on highways where drainage is poor. Motorists will face an elevated risk of their vehicle hydroplaning as a result.
By the end of the week, the risk of thunderstorms and localized severe weather will increase along with the humidity in the eastern part of the nation.