Storms head toward Midwest, mid-Atlantic; fire threat high in West

The 416 fire in Colorado was only 10 percent contained on Friday, June 8, 2018.PlayTwitter/@LizGelardy
WATCH Severe storms, threat of twisters after flash flood emergency in Okla.

Several clusters of scattered strong storms are moving along a stalled frontal boundary that stretches from Minnesota to Virginia. These strong storms may form at various times during the day -- especially during the late afternoon as temperatures heat up.

Interested in Weather?

Add Weather as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Weather news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

A line of strong storms is moving through central and eastern Nebraska. Both Lincoln, Nebraska, and Grand Island, Nebraska, reported wind gusts of 74 mph on Saturday morning, but the storms will lose some intensity during the morning hours.

Another cluster of storms is moving through northern Illinois and nearing the Chicago metropolitan area. These storms are moving slowly and dumping very heavy rain over parts of the region. Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches have already been estimated by radar in the Rockford area.

Rainfall rates could exceed 2 inches per hour through Saturday morning. Localized flash flooding is a possibility in northern Illinois this morning.

Storms are moving through Nebraska and northern Illinois on Saturday morning.ABC News
Storms are moving through Nebraska and northern Illinois on Saturday morning.

While the storms stretching across the frontal boundary could have strong gusty winds the predominant threat comes from their slow-moving nature. Nearly 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecast for much of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic with locally higher amounts. Northern Illinois, southeast Minnesota, parts of Maryland, and Virginia are most at-risk. Flash flooding is possible through the weekend in this region.

Storms will cover much of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Sunday evening.ABC News
Storms will cover much of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Sunday evening.

This round of rain comes after Maryland saw its wettest May on record, and Virginia's sixth-wettest May on record.

Rainfall will be heavy in Maryland and eastern Virginia, which were already hit by flooding rain the past few weeks.ABC News
Rainfall will be heavy in Maryland and eastern Virginia, which were already hit by flooding rain the past few weeks.

Severe weather threat

The severe weather threat Saturday is concentrated over Montana, where gusty winds and some hail is possible. Tomorrow, this system slides off to the east and the severe threat moves into the Dakotas with damaging winds and large hail likely again. By Monday, the severe threat will make it to parts of the central Plains and Midwest, including Kansas City, Missouri, and Des Moines, Iowa. Damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes are possible in the slight risk area on Monday.

Severe storms are possible on Monday from Kansas City north into southern Minnesota.ABC News
Severe storms are possible on Monday from Kansas City north into southern Minnesota.

Critical fire danger

As of Friday, the 416 fire in southwest Colorado had grown to 7,180 acres and is just 10 percent contained. The fire grew more than 2,000 acres on Thursday. Officials say no structures have been burned yet, but several new evacuation orders were issued on Friday as officials try to bring the containment up.

Above average temperatures, gusty winds and low relative humidity will bring the potential for fire danger for much of the western U.S. this weekend.

The fire danger is critical across much of the Southwest.ABC News
The fire danger is critical across much of the Southwest.

Wind gusts could exceed 30 mph with localized gusts over 50 mph in higher elevations and relative humidity could be as low as 5 percent. Therefore fire weather watches, red flag warnings and wind advisories have been issued for parts of the region, including Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas; Flagstaff, Arizona; and parts of the greater Salt Lake City and Denver areas.

Given that there are a number of both small and large wildfires in the West, these weather conditions could cause rapid fire spread and development.

Comments