Friday, May 24, 2024

Weather Alert: Severe Storms to Strike the Heartland

HomeU.S.Weather Alert: Severe Storms to Strike the Heartland

A potent storm system is taking shape that will unleash a risk of severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail, damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes across a broad region of the central United States over the next couple of days, forecasters warned on Sunday.

The threat begins on Monday across parts of the southern and central Plains states, including northern Texas, western Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Meteorologists say cities like Lincoln, Nebraska, Manhattan, Kansas and Grand Island, Nebraska are under an “enhanced” risk for severe storms – meaning numerous severe thunderstorms are likely.

However, the risk for turbulent weather on Monday stretches across a much wider area. The National Weather Service has issued a “slight risk” area that encompasses millions of residents from Texas into South Dakota who could face severe storms with large hail, damaging winds or even isolated tornadoes.

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Marc Chenard, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said the primary danger early this week will be destructive hailstones potentially reaching the size of baseballs.

“There will be some areas of heavy rain as well,” Chenard cautioned, “Which could lead to localized flash flooding concerns.”

While the tornado risk is not extremely high on Monday, Chenard said a few twisters are possible anywhere from North Texas into Nebraska as the storms fire up amid highly favorable atmospheric conditions for rotating thunderstorms.

On Tuesday, the volatile weather is forecast to shift eastward into the central states including Illinois, Iowa and Missouri as the storm system advances. Multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms are expected throughout the day in these regions, with damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes once again threats to lives and property.

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“There is a slightly higher risk from northern Missouri into central Iowa on Tuesday for tornadoes,” Chenard advised.

In addition to the severe weather danger, bouts of dry and windy conditions will persist across the southern Plains into midweek. This has prompted Red Flag Warnings for critical wildfire risks across parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas – including the metro areas of El Paso and Las Cruces in New Mexico.

Over 1.7 million residents are currently within the critical risk area for wildfires through Monday due to the combination of drought, heat, low humidity and gusty winds. Any new fires that ignite could quickly burn out of control.

Residents across the prospective severe weather and wildfire risk areas are urged to review safety plans and be prepared to act quickly if warnings are issued for your location over the next few days. Stay tuned to trusted local media and official sources for the latest information on this dangerous setup.

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The volatile pattern is being driven by a strong upper-level trough of low pressure ejecting out of the West, interacting with warm, moist air being pulled northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. This clash of contrasting air masses, combined with strong wind shear (a change of wind speed/direction with height), will allow rotating thunderstorms to develop.

While severe weather is not unusual during the spring across the nation’s midsection, this system has the potential to produce widespread impacts given the coverage and intensity of storms anticipated. Residents should not let their guard down and heed all watches and warnings from the Storm Prediction Center and local National Weather Service offices.



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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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