People living in the Plains and Midwest may need to get out their sunscreen and their raincoats and umbrellas this weekend. As a new storm system is taking shape in the west, it’s bringing with it warmer temperatures along with some severe thunderstorms which could produce heavy rainfall amounts, hail, damaging winds and even the threat of tornadoes. Forecasters say that isolated to scattered severe storms are possible from parts of the central Plains to the Midwest. As many as 42 million people are in the path of potentially dangerous storms this weekend in the US.
The National Weather Service stated Friday that a frontal boundary will be setting up right across southern Wisconsin on Saturday. This system is bringing with it showers and thunderstorms that will move along a line from the northern reaches of Missouri and further across Wisconsin, across the Great Lakes into the state of Michigan. While the temperatures will be springlike and warm with highs reaching possibly into the mid to high 70s, showers will come down by late Saturday which will put a damper on people’s outdoor activities. Some of these storms may be severe and could drop large hail and bring with them strong gusting, damaging winds. The NWS says that the biggest threat from these storms will be winds that could blow in excess of 60 miles per hour. It also warns that hailstones could easily be over 1-inch in diameter.
Firefighters across the western part of Michigan were busy Friday extinguishing wildfires. It’s been a dry April thus far for that part of the “Mitten State”. However, things are about to change as the approaching weather system is bringing with it the threat of heavy rainfall that could result in some areas getting 2 inches of rain. The National Weather Service has flood watches in effect for several western Michigan counties this weekend including Allegan, Kent, Muskegeon, Montcalm and Newaygo counties.
While the temperatures will soar into the 70s this weekend for much of the Midwest, people there should not put away their warm clothing just yet. Forecasters are saying that following on the heels of the warm, springlike weather is a cold front that will send temperatures back down into the normal range for this time of the year. Highs on Monday will most likely be in the upper 40s. However, things will begin to warm back up again by Tuesday in many areas of the Midwest to result in highs reaching the low to mid 50s. Temperatures are expected to hover in the 50s for the greater part of next week for may Midwestern locations including Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit.