By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 1,2017, 2:33:54PM,EDT
Following a stretch of sunny and seasonably warm weather, residents of the Midwest and Northeast are in for a rude and stormy awakening.High pressure that settled over the Eastern Seaboard early this week will be pushed offshore by a strong storm dipping into the area from Canada.
This shift in the weather pattern will usher in a period of cooler, wetter conditions from the Upper Midwest through the mid-Atlantic through the weekend.
“A slow-moving front will be trudging through the eastern third of the country late this week,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Carl Babinski.
The resulting area of unsettled weather will first impact the northern Plains on Wednesday, sparking potentially severe thunderstorms and bringing much-needed rain to parts of the Dakotas and Nebraska.
As the thunderstorms progress eastward, they are expected to strengthen and expand in coverage, spreading from Kansas to Michigan on Thursday.
This part of the country has seen more than its fair share of heavy storms this summer, and many locations have experienced devastating flooding. Unfortunately, this round of storminess will perpetuate that threat once again.
Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago are among some major metropolitan areas that can expect to face lightning, hail and strong winds from any thunderstorms on Thursday.
Anyone outdoors will need to keep up to date on local warnings, and move indoors at the first sign of threatening weather.
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Residents should take care to shelter vehicles and secure outdoor furniture ahead of any storms to limit damage.
Motorists should slow down and drive carefully through any storms, as the threat of hydroplaning increases and visibility decreases in heavy rain. No one should attempt to cross flooded roadways.
The bout of dreary weather will be relatively short-lived.
By Friday, cooler air will rush into much of the Midwest, with temperatures expected to plummet up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit below average.
As the cold front tracks eastward, it will weaken and trigger only spotty storms in the Northeast.
“While the storms could fire over a large area, the most widespread showers and storms will reside in the Great Lakes region on Thursday and Friday,” said Babinski.
“Residents of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have a better reason to grab their umbrellas - especially on Friday - than those who live in the Northeast do this weekend.”
Though cooler than this past week, dry weather moving into the Northeast will allow “Saturday night and Sunday to be a nice end to the weekend,” said Babinski.