Check out this baseball sized hail that fell in Snyder just a few moments ago! Picture from Brandi Garza. #txwx

— Austin Burkes (@AustinBurkeswx) May 17, 2021

Severe storms slammed the nation’s heartland over the weekend from Texas and New Mexico to Colorado, Utah and the Central Plains. Truckers will likely hit more rough weather in these areas, plus others, almost each day this week.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), thunderstorm wind gusts exceeded 70 mph in parts of Texas and Utah, and softball size hail was reported in Snyder, Texas. Flash flooding swept through a few states, with weekend rain totals of more than 8 inches in parts of Kansas. Five tornadoes popped up Saturday through Sunday, touching down in Colorado, Texas and South Dakota.

The system responsible for the extreme weekend weather will stall over the Plains for the next several days. Additional rounds of severe weather are likely Monday from southeastern Colorado and southern Kansas to most of Oklahoma, central and eastern Texas, as well as eastern New Mexico. The risk may decrease Tuesday and Wednesday, but it doesn’t disappear.

NWS meteorologists have issued a flash flood watch, stretching from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area to Oklahoma City. They may add other areas to the watch at some point, with heavy rain also possible in the Arklatex region and other portions of the Mississippi Valley. Some places may see 10 inches or more of rain this week.

Other notable weather this week

Snow may be returning to the Rocky Mountains front in western Montana. The NWS has posted a winter storm watch that begins Wednesday evening and is scheduled to end Saturday morning. During that time, 6 to 18 inches could pile up in places such as Marias Pass, Choteau, Browning, Heart Butte, Logan Pass, MacDonald Pass, Rogers Pass and Flesher Pass.

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There’s an elevated risk of wildfires sparking and spreading in northeastern Montana and much of South Dakota. A red flag warning remains in effect for these areas Monday. The air will be very dry, with relative humidity of less than 20%, along with gusts of up to 35 mph. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these places are suffering from an extreme drought.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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