Severe thunderstorms to target the Plains, powerful cold front to shift risk east into midweek

June is slated to pick up right where May left off in terms of severe weather - active and potentially dangerous for millions of Americans.

Strong thunderstorms developed across the center of the nation through Monday night, bringing reports of damaging wind gusts from southern Wisconsin to northeastern Texas, northern Louisiana and central Mississippi.

The threat for severe thunderstorms will shift eastward and northward Tuesday, with a large swath of the central U.S. from Minnesota and Wisconsin southward into northeastern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in the risk zone.

The thunderstorm activity on Tuesday is expected to feature an added boost in atmospheric energy, as cooler air diving out of Canada collides with warm and humid air funneling up from the Gulf of Mexico.

"The strongest storms on Tuesday could spin up tornadoes, endangering lives and property. Everyone in these areas should be ready to implement their weather safety plans and download the AccuWeather app and have alerts enabled and audible, especially as some of these storms could occur after sunset," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski added.

The severe weather risk could be maximized across Iowa on Tuesday. The state is no stranger to tornado activity, having observed over 100 tornadoes this year alone.

Other areas at risk include Minneapolis and even some of the suburbs of Chicago between Tuesday and Tuesday night.

The more general risk of severe thunderstorms will extend from eastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, southward to northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas.

The stretch of stormy weather will finally come to an end across the Plains and Upper Midwest by Wednesday, but following that will be strong wind gusts that will sweep through following the passage of a cold front.

The advancing cold front across the central United States for midweek will shift the risk for drenching and locally severe thunderstorms eastward as well. Spanning from the Great Lakes to the South, Wednesday's risk could be maximized along this corridor. However, drenching thunderstorms could spoil outdoor plans across the southern and central Appalachians and in many major metropolitan areas from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Roanoke, Virginia, northward to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Conditions will be closely monitored into the day on Thursday as well, this time focusing even farther east along the Interstate 95 corridor. Residents of New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and areas in between are all expected to face the risk for drenching thunderstorms that can cause travel nightmares and impacts to any outdoor plans.

May featured the most preliminary reports of tornadoes out of any month in the last five years, notching over 500 reported tornadoes across the country. The last time that happened was back in May 2019, when 510 tornadoes spun up across the nation over the course of the month. Since 2000, only two years featured more tornadoes to date; 2003 and 2011, solidifying May of 2024 within the upper echelon of severe weather reports across the nation.

Historically, June is the third most active month for tornadoes across the United States with only April and May typically being more active. Heading into the first full week of the month, the risk for more tornadoes will span a large swath of the central, southern and eastern United States as a multi-day risk for severe weather gets underway.

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