Another round of severe weather is ahead for much of the Plains and portions of the Upper Midwest this Thursday. An area of low pressure has continued to slowly track along the Canadian border. Attached to the south of that low pressure is a cold front, which separates two different air masses. This cold front will usher in a brief round of drier air as opposed to bringing in cooler temperatures. In fact, this particular cold front will actually allow for temperatures to warm up behind it.

This cold front will be the main instigator. As it slowly tracks to the east, it will run into the warm, moist air and moderate to high instability. This interaction will spark a few batches of rain and thunderstorms across the Plains beginning in the mid-afternoon. Thunderstorms will not be widespread, and many areas are expected to remain dry into tonight. There are two areas where there’s the highest risk for severe storms, which may produce damaging winds, large hail, and an isolated tornado. This includes in western Kansas and south-central Nebraska as well as the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota. The remainder of the Plains have the chance for spotty thunderstorms, some of which may be strong. Overnight these storms will weaken, and much of the precipitation will dissipate in the early hours of Friday morning.

On Friday the risk for severe weather will remain, although it’s not as significant of a threat as Thursday. In the morning, there will be a few spotty clusters of showers and thunderstorms over the Midwest. We may then see those storms evolve into a strong line of storms with gusty winds as they move southeast toward central and eastern Oklahoma later in the day. Father north, isolated thunderstorms will be possible in the afternoon and evening across the Upper Midwest and western Great Lakes region. These storms may also pose the risk for damaging winds and large hail.

By Saturday, the threat will diminish associated with this first storm, but a new storm may bring another round of severe weather to parts of the Northwest, especially Montana. A few thunderstorms are expected to form late in the day, some of which may bring hail and gusty winds.


Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami.

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