After two weeks of cool, dry, autumn-like weather, summer is returning to the American Heartland, courtesy of a potent storm system that first developed over the northern Baja Peninsula. There, the upper level low produced heavy rain and flash flooding across parts of Southern California and the Desert Southwest before tracking to the northeast.
This morning, the storm is centered over southwest Kansas and is sweeping Gulf of Mexico moisture across the Central and Southern Plains and into the Midwest. A swath of heavy rain stretches from northern Michigan to western Oklahoma as warm, humid air is lifted by the advancing front. The strongest thunderstorms, some including tornadoes, will develop along the dry line, south of the central low pressure; as the latter continues to move northeastward, this line of severe weather will develop across eastern Oklahoma, Missouri and northern Illinois, advancing eastward over the coming days.
For now, winter has retreated into Canada and this summer surge should hold for a few days, bringing mild conditions in the wake of the storm; here in Missouri, afternoon highs are expected to remain in the 70s F through much of the coming week. Winter may have lost this battle but it will eventually prevail as the longer nights take their toll and the jet stream settles across the southern U.S. By then, summer will have thrown in the towel, resting up across the Gulf Coast and Caribbean for its next challenge in early spring.