Severe thunderstorms threaten Great Lakes

In the wake of damaging thunderstorms that rolled across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest both Friday and Saturday, additional threats of thunderstorm activity will continue through the end of the weekend across the region.

For places like Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., a much-needed thunderstorm-free day is in store to close out the weekend.

Instead, through Sunday evening, the threat for locally drenching thunderstorms will shift eastward through the eastern Great Lakes and into portions of the interior Northeast.

For those trying to escape the stifling heat settling in, this could spell trouble for anyone planning on boating or heading to area beaches across the eastern Great Lakes during the afternoon and early evening hours.

Aside from minor flash flooding, and the altering of outdoor plans, this rain is welcomed by some residents.

Abnormally dry conditions have crept northward through the Great Lakes region in recent weeks according to the US Drought Monitor, so the weekend rainfall in the area is expected help to alleviate those concerns. Downpours may help to water some fields, orchards, vineyards, lawns and backyard gardens along the way.

In addition to drenching rainfall, a more confined area, from southern Ontario to the central Indiana and Ohio, can expect severe thunderstorms to erupt.

Meteorologists are concerned about heavy downpours, that can cause localized flooding issues, as well as strong wind gusts up to an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 70 mph. Following the thunderstorms that brought wind damage Thursday afternoon and evening, another round of wind may make it easier for tree limbs to topple.

Residents in the area should keep updated on the changing weather in the region, especially if they are outdoors in the afternoon and evening, or perhaps trying to get a glimpse of the Neowise comet.

Cities like Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I., and New York City could all feel the impacts of these stronger thunderstorms.

At the peak of their intensity, thunderstorms brought a whopping 101-mph wind gust in Churchs Ferry, N.D., on Friday. While wind gusts of that caliber are not expected this weekend, there will be thunderstorms capable of producing life-threatening hazards.

The thunderstorms set to target the Great Lakes on Sunday will have plenty of “fuel” for development as hot and humid air surges northward into the region. A storm system in the upper levels of the atmosphere tracking along the Canadian border will also be in place to provide the forcing mechanism needed to spark severe thunderstorms once again.

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