A River of Rain

A potent winter storm, centered over south-central Kansas this afternoon, is pulling a swath of Gulf moisture northward through the Heartland.  Stretching from Houston to Chicago, the broad atmospheric river of heavy rain and thunderstorms has produced flooding throughout the region; along the leading edge of the swath, where warm, southeast winds intersect the cold front, a few tornadoes have developed.  Yesterday, as the storm's dry-line pushed across the Great Plains, 23 tornadoes were unleashed across Texas, Oklahoma and western Kansas.

Today, on the backside of the central low, blizzard conditions stretch from south-central Nebraska through western Kansas and southeast Colorado.  Up to a foot of snow has fallen and wind gusts to 70 mph have been reported.

The storm system is racing eastward and the swath of heavy rain and thunderstorms should reach the Mississippi Valley by early evening.  Here in central Missouri, the precipitation will taper off overnight as cooler and drier air moves in from the west.