Severe storms, flooding, wildfires

Another stormy day for some drivers: Severe thunderstorms producing large hail, gusty winds, and/or flash flooding will be spotty across portions of the Rockies, Great Plains and the Mississippi River Valley. Severe storms will be a bit more common across a swath of the Midwest, especially tonight, in places such as Topeka, Kansas City, Des Moines, Chicago and Milwaukee. Isolated tornadoes could pop up in this region, too.

High water worries: Due to ongoing flooding, several sections of BNSF and Union Pacific subdivisions remain out of service in parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Also because of ongoing high water levels, one lock remains closed in the St. Louis area where barges have been moored for weeks. However, other locks have been reopened, so the situation is improving a bit.

Tinder box: Because of breezy, very dry conditions, there’s an elevated risk for wildfires in portions of the Great Basin. For now, the main areas of concern are the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas, as well as Las Vegas and southwestern Colorado. Any fires that spark could spread quickly, with smoke reducing visibility.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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