More severe storms, tornadoes poised to pounce on central US this week

Severe weather and the likelihood of more tornadoes will return to the central United States, spanning Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday, AccuWeather meteorologists warn. Along with the tornado threat, storms will pack high winds, large hail, and torrential rain that can aggravate or initiate flooding problems.

Many of the same areas that were rocked and devastated by severe weather and flash flooding in recent days may be hit again or at least under the threat of severe weather, including tornadoes.

Sadly, several people were killed, including an infant, in the violent storms and tornadoes from Friday to Sunday. Close to 500 incidents of severe weather occurred, including more than 125 tornadoes.

The atmosphere was in reload mode on Monday as the last gasp of thunderstorms pushed along the central Gulf Coast region with flooding downpours and gusty winds. The group of storms was responsible for 4-10 inches of rain and flash flooding in parts of Texas and Louisiana.


"Two more storm systems will affect the Central states this week," AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

The first storm system will swing quickly from the central Plains to the Upper Midwest from Tuesday evening to Wednesday.

"This storm will bring a reprise of severe weather, mainly in the form of high winds and hail, but also the potential for tornadoes in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa on Tuesday evening," Rayno said. Omaha, Nebraska, may be in the middle of the threat zone.

AccuWeather has a moderate risk of severe weather, including tornadoes, in this area, as well as a small part of southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri on Tuesday. The overall threat of severe weather Tuesday afternoon and evening will extend as far to the south as west-central Texas.

With the severe weather this week, cities such as Omaha; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita Falls and Abilene, Texas; will be at risk all three days from Tuesday to Thursday.

The second of the two main storms this week will eject from the central Rockies Wednesday and is forecast to pivot more slowly northward over the northern Plains and Upper Midwest Thursday.

The swath of severe weather at risk Wednesday will be nearly identical to that of Tuesday and will extend from Nebraska and Iowa southward 900 miles to much of central Texas.

"We could be looking at more than a dozen tornadoes Wednesday in portions of the central and southern Plains," Rayno said.

Storms and the setup that are potent enough to produce tornadoes will also bring many incidents of large hail, high winds and torrential downpours.

The threat of severe weather will continue from the second storm system Thursday. The threat zone will encompass much of the same areas as Tuesday and Wednesday but also extend farther to the east -- near the Mississippi River and east of the Mississippi in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The storms are likely to produce episodes of hail and strong winds. However, a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

"The overall coverage of severe weather on Thursday may be more localized when compared to Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as that of this past Friday and Saturday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Benz said.

Because the storms will repeat over the same areas for multiple days and in areas that were hit already by repeating storms and downpours from last week, there is the potential for renewed flooding or flooding that could be made worse.

Small streams and rivers surged to moderate to major flood stage as a result of rounds of heavy rain in recent days. The rainfall will result in the middle segment of the Mississippi River, reaching a minor flood stage in some areas.

The downpours will also bring the risk of flash flooding to some areas that were spared in recent days.

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