• Severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of the Plains states beginning Sunday.
  • Strong thunderstorm wind gusts, hail and perhaps a few tornadoes are possible.
  • Some severe thunderstorms and soaking rain are also possible in the Plains Monday and Tuesday.
  • The remnants of an Eastern Pacific hurricane could give a boost to rain and storms in the South.

S​evere thunderstorms and soaking rain are expected in parts of the drought-parched Plains states beginning this weekend in a rather abrupt change following record cold earlier this week.

T​his severe weather threat will escalate later Sunday in some of the same areas of the northern and central Plains that just shivered through record mid-October lows in the teens and 20s early this week.

S​unday, however, temperatures will soar into the 70s and 80s as far north as Minnesota and the Dakotas. That warm and somewhat more humid air should help ignite at least scattered severe thunderstorms late Sunday afternoon and evening from parts of Kansas and northwest Missouri into Minnesota, as the map below shows.

T​he main severe weather threat will be strong thunderstorm wind gusts capable of tree damage and power outages. Hail is also a possibility with the strongest storms.

(​MORE: Severe Weather Isn’t Just For Spring And Summer)


Severe Thunderstorm Forecast

(Shaded on the map above is the likelihood of severe thunderstorms, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. Note that not all categories apply for the severe weather risk on a particular day.)

N​eeded Soaking, But Too Much Of Good Thing?

A​dditional severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of the Southern Plains Monday and lower Mississippi Valley Tuesday, though the overall severe threat looks low, for now.

L​ocally heavy rain is also expected as the cold front slowly moves through the region.

W​e expect that a rather broad area from Texas to the mid-Mississippi Valley is likely to pick up at least an inch of rain Monday and Tuesday.

T​his is generally good news, as much of the Plains and Mississippi Valley is either abnormally dry or in various levels of drought after a dry late summer and early fall.

However, some of that rain could fall fast enough to run off quickly over parched ground to produce flash flooding, especially over the hilly terrain of the Ozarks.


Rainfall Forecast Sunday – Tuesday Night

(Locally heavier amounts are possible where bands of thunderstorms stall for a few hours. Areas shaded in white are expected to see snowfall accumulations. )

W​hy Such A Big Change?

The Plains states have flipped from record cold to threats of thunderstorms because the jet stream pattern has flipped.

T​he jet stream will carve a sharp southward plunge through the West, bringing much colder temperatures and mountain snow.

A​head of that so-called jet-stream trough, warm and a bit more humid air will flow northward through the previously shivering central and eastern U.S.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.