Thunderstorms assaulted the central part of the nation Thursday with high winds, lightning and torrential rain, while winter returned to the northern Rockies.
The storms, which have triggered several tornadoes in the Midwest and South this week, were produced by a Canadian cold front that clashed in the Plains with warm, moist air from the South, weather officials said.
Heavy rain fell Thursday from North Dakota and Minnesota to western Kansas, while severe thunderstorms with strong winds and lightning rumbled across lower Michigan. Nearly half an inch of rain fell in Duluth, Minn., in 15 minutes.
Severe thunderstorms moved through parts of eastern Indiana and western Ohio, dumping nearly four inches of rain at Versailles, Ind., and dropping golf ball-sized hail at Cambridge City, Ind. A tornado touched down near New Lisbon, Ind., but caused no damage or injuries.
The National Weather Service said more severe thunderstorms would develop later as the cold front pushed south from the western Great Lakes into the southern Plains.
Flash Flood Watch Posted
Thunderstorms early Thursday produced heavy rain in southern Texas around San Antonio and across parts of southwest Iowa. A flash flood watch was posted for south-central and southwest Texas.
Strong thunderstorms and heavy rain hit parts of north and central Alabama, with more than two inches of rain soaking downtown Birmingham. High winds demolished a mobile home and killed a worker at a construction site at a school in Double Springs, Winston County Sheriff Hobby Walker said.
The school already had closed for summer vacation and no students were inside, he said.
The cold front dropped early morning temperatures into the 40s from northwest Kansas and central Nebraska into the eastern Dakotas and readings in the 30s were common over much of Montana and Wyoming. A reading of 37 degrees at Pendleton, Ore., tied the record low for the date.
Snow showers were spread across the higher elevations of western Montana and northern Wyoming, with three inches reported in Butte, Mont., and two inches in Dillon, Mont.