The most active 24-hour period of this severe weather occurred Thursday continuing into the night, when a total of 476 storm reports were taken, beating the previous most active day of 423 reports on April 3rd. And it’s not done yet. More severe weather is possible across parts of the country this Friday. Today’s weather will not be as active and significant as yesterday, but strong to severe thunderstorms will still threaten portions of the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and Southeast into tonight.
A nasty complex of thunderstorms that developed over North Dakota Thursday night is continuing to track east, bringing damaging winds into northern portions of Minnesota this morning. Some towns have measured gusts in excess of 90 mph, which has caused wind damage across the region. These storms will weaken as they track into Canada by midday today. It’s what occurring back to the west that will be the driver of today’s severe weather threat across the region, as a new area of low pressure develops on the leeward side of the Colorado Rockies.
There are two lines of showers currently working east across Montana. By the end of today, this precipitation should reach western portions of the Northern Plains while scattered storms persist across the interior northwestern US. These storms will continue to track east across the Northern Plains, bringing a few intense storms into the central Dakotas. These storms may then organize into a cluster of rain and strong thunderstorms, continuing into Saturday morning centered over South Dakota.
Farther south, scattered showers and thunderstorms will explosively develop in the late-afternoon and early-evening hours across western portions of the Central and Southern Plains. Some of these storms are expected to reach severe status. The main risks associated with all of these storms, if they turn severe, will be damaging winds and large hail. A few spotty tornadoes east of the Rocky Mountains is also be possible.
There will also be the risk for severe storms in parts of the Southeast Friday afternoon and evening. This morning, a few widely scattered showers are affecting the Gulf Coast states. Much of this precipitation will dissipate midday. As the daylight heating kicks in, hit or miss thunderstorms will pop up late in the day across the Southeast, especially in the Carolinas, Florida, and Mississippi. Unlike Thursday, an organized line of severe thunderstorms won’t develop. Instead it will be these scattered storms that develop, some of which may bring damaging winds and small hail.
Looking ahead to Saturday and Saturday night, severe thunderstorms will be possible ahead of a cold front from the Upper Midwest through the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. Along the warm front associated with the same storm system, a few strong to severe thunderstorms will likely develop over portions of Upstate New York and northern New England. Among all of these storms, damaging winds and large hail will be the predominate threat.
Friday into Saturday, localized flash flooding will be possible across parts of the Central Plains and Midwest, as over two inches of rain falls in some areas on top of an already-saturated ground.