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Havre cools off, remains dry, while Plains will see flooding, damaging winds this week


August 2, 2019

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

A combine churns up dust as it works in a field in Big Sandy Thursday evening. Scattered storms passed through the area Thursday but missed Havre and most of the surrounding areas.

Accuweather, Havre Daily News staff

Havre is in for a slight relief in temperatures in the coming week after a streak of days well into the 90 degree range.

According to National Weather Service, Havre has seen temperatures as high as 97 in the past week, but forecasts are predicting a slightly milder week ahead, with temperatures expected to sit in the upper 80s.

Aside from brief rain showers near the Bear Paw Mountains Thursday evening, most of Hill County has remained dry, leading to continuous Red Flag Warnings throughout much of the area. National Weather Service predicts a small chance of thunderstorms this week, but it appears Havre is in for another relatively dry week.

The lower Plains States, however, face stormy, volatile weather.

Residents across the Plains should brace for multiple rounds of showers and drenching thunderstorms into the weekend.

A nearly stationary weather pattern will set up across the region through the end of the week that will promote the same areas getting hit repeatedly by these thunderstorm complexes.

Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be drawn northward into the central Plains on the western side of a high pressure system anchored over the Upper Midwest through Friday. At the same time, a frontal boundary separating cooler and more pleasant air across the Midwest from hot and steamy air in the southern Plains will struggle to move much into the start of the weekend.

It is where the moisture and this frontal boundary collide that flash flooding will become a major concern during the rest of the week.

The first of these heavy thunderstorm complexes fired up Wednesday night and persisted through Thursday morning, and another complex developed early Friday morning.

As the high pressure over the Upper Midwest exerts its influence farther south and west from Friday into Saturday, the area of heaviest rain will shift farther south into eastern portions of Kansas and Oklahoma.

"Rainfall totals will average between 2 and 4 inches from eastern Nebraska down into eastern Oklahoma," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards said.

Up to a foot of rain can fall in the pattern in some communities. During Wednesday night, more than 10 inches of rain fell on Lone Star, Kansas.

Nearly 7 inches of rain had fallen over Ottawa, Kansas, Thursday morning, all but submerging a portion of the city. A video surfaced of people wading through knee-high water at a local smokehouse to salvage what they could from a barbecue smoker.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for areas including Ottawa, Kansas, Thursday morning, which lasted into the evening.

Residents in this corridor should prepare now for the possibility of flash flooding, as it will only take a couple of inches of rain in a short amount of time to trigger these issues.

"Widespread flooding is possible where the heaviest rainfall occurs and causes rapid rises on area creeks, streams and rivers," according to Edwards.

Much of the south-central Plains and Mississippi Valley was ravaged by months of record-setting flooding this spring and early summer, so additional bouts of heavy rainfall are the last thing that the region needs.

The time to prepare is now. Have a plan of action ready to move to higher ground in the event that flooding threatens your home, property and family members. In addition, motorists that encounter flooded roadways should seek alternate routes as it only takes 1-2 feet of moving water to sweep away most vehicles.

"Turn around, don't drown," Edwards warned.

By the second half of the weekend, the weather pattern should become more progressive and allow drier air to sweep back into the central Plains.


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