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AccuWeather Forecasters Warn That Widespread Severe Weather Threat To Eye Central US

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A massive storm poised to unleash areas of heavy snow in the western United States and Canada Prairies will also trigger the potential for widespread severe weather across portions of the Plains and Mississippi Valley late this week and into the weekend, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

“As the storm that has been the biggest so far this fall departs from the Rockies, many rounds of severe thunderstorms could develop across the Great Plains beginning Thursday evening and continuing into this weekend,” AccuWeather Forecasting Manager Dan DePodwin said.

Late this week and into the weekend, a powerful storm that is expected to drop significant amounts of snow in some areas of the western United States and the Canadian Prairies could also unleash widespread severe weather over the Plains and Mississippi Valley. ACCUWEATHER

For much of this week, warmth will surge northward over the central United States as colder air plunges into the West. The clash of warm and cold air will reach a peak from late this week to this weekend over the middle of the U.S. — right about the same time an increase in jet stream energy will arrive along with a flow of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. All of these are ingredients for severe weather development.

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The first storms are likely to erupt on Thursday evening across western Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, DePodwin warned. Hail and damaging winds are likely to be the main threats.

As the storm’s cold front pivots eastward and interacts with increased moisture from the Gulf, the threat of severe thunderstorms is expected to become even more widespread on Friday.

“The area AccuWeather meteorologists are most concerned about on Friday afternoon and evening extends from far southern Kansas southward through central Oklahoma into central Texas,” DePodwin said. “All hazards, including hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes, could occur.”

Thursday evening is expected to see the beginning of the storms across western Kansas, the Texas panhandle, and the Oklahoma panhandle. ACCUWEATHER

The risk of heavy and gusty to severe thunderstorms is likely to continue farther to the east over portions of the lower Plains and the Mississippi Valley, but it may depend on a number of factors, including how much daytime heating occurs prior to the eruption of thunderstorms.

The severe weather threat could then escalate to an outbreak from portions of eastern Texas and Louisiana northward to portions of eastern Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois as the weekend progresses. AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor the potential for weather dangers in the coming days.

The severe weather threat may later transform into a period of strong wind gusts along a line of heavy showers as the cold front swings from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.

In areas north of the severe thunderstorm risk zone, the potential for flooding will exist on Friday and Saturday, according to DePodwin.

Thursday evening is expected to see the beginning of the storms across western Kansas, the Texas panhandle, and the Oklahoma panhandle. ACCUWEATHER
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“A zone from eastern Kansas into Missouri and southern Iowa could experience several rounds of heavy rain,” DePodwin said. “Although much of this rain would be beneficial to the significant drought, some locations in this area have been rather wet recently and could experience flooding.”

Even though spring is the most active time for severe thunderstorms in the U.S., significant outbreaks can also occur in the fall as strong storms interact with moisture drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico. This is commonly known as the secondary severe weather season.

Runoff from the rainfall is likely to work into the Mississippi main stem eventually, but that could take many days and weeks and is likely to produce only a slight and temporary water level rise above historically low river levels.

 

Produced in association with AccuWeather.

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