As high heat and out-of-control wildfires plague some parts of the country, severe storms and torrential rain will douse the Midwest.

Related: Long view: Preparing logistically for extreme weather

A stationary front is stuck across the region, with plenty of humidity and instability. Waves of low pressure will move along the front, triggering showers and thunderstorms that will be strong to severe at times.

Severe winds of 60-plus mph and golf ball-size hail have slammed several Midwestern states this week, with more likely over the next few days. A landspout Wednesday damaged crops in northwestern Illinois, according to a National Weather Service report.


The main threat for severe storms Thursday stretches from South Dakota and Nebraska to Iowa, southern portions of Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as northwestern Illinois. The biggest risk is damaging wind gusts, especially in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

Severe storms are also likely across the eastern half of Montana, including Billings, Glasgow and Glendive.


The overall odds of severe weather are a little lower Friday, and the potential impact zone is smaller, stretching from eastern Montana to near Lake Michigan. The main threats will be severe winds and large hail, especially across Iowa, southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin.


Severe storms Saturday could pop up from the central Plains to the upper Great Lakes. Most of them will develop in eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa, central and southern Minnesota, as well as northwestern Wisconsin.

Lanes of concern

Interstate 29 from Watertown, South Dakota, to Omaha, Nebraska
Interstate 35 from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Des Moines, Iowa
Interstate 90 from Rapid City, South Dakota, to La Crosse, Wisconsin
Interstate 80 from North Platte, Nebraska, to Davenport, Iowa

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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