Potential Severe Weather Outbreak, Including Tornadoes, In Plains, South, Midwest Late Week

Tornado Central

Tornado Alley

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The Weather Channel is warning that a potential severe weather outbreak, including the possibility of tornadoes, is expected to hit the Plains, South, and Midwest regions of the United States later this week. The most widespread threat is expected to occur on Friday and Friday evening in the Mississippi Valley. The outbreak could include damaging thunderstorm winds and hail.

According to The Weather Channel's meteorologists, an isolated severe storm threat might begin on Thursday afternoon and evening from eastern Kansas to central Oklahoma and far northern Texas. The primary threats from any thunderstorms that form would be large hail, possibly to the size of baseball, tornadoes, and damaging thunderstorm wind gusts.

As a strong low-pressure system kicks out into the nation's midsection, a more expansive and intense threat of severe thunderstorms is in play for Friday and Friday evening in the Mississippi Valley, especially from Iowa and Illinois south into Arkansas, parts of northern Mississippi, and western Tennessee. Tornadoes, damaging thunderstorm winds, and hail are all possible in these areas.

At least a few severe thunderstorms are possible Saturday from the Southeast into the mid-Atlantic states. Damaging thunderstorm wind gusts could be the main concern.

The origin of this potentially volatile setup is a storm that has brought more snow, rain, and wind to the West, including California. That southward plunge of the jet stream will pivot into the Plains, which will cause low pressure near the surface to strengthen and pull warm and humid air northward from the Gulf of Mexico. This combination of wind shear, instability, and lift typically produces some severe weather.

Residents of the Plains, South, and Midwest regions of the United States are advised to review or develop their severe weather plan, which includes having multiple ways to receive watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, including via smartphone and NOAA weather radio, that can also wake you up if severe weather happens while you're asleep. It is essential to know where to go to seek safe shelter if a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued for your area, especially if you live in a mobile or manufactured home. Make sure you know where a community storm shelter or nearby home is that can provide safety.

The potential severe weather outbreak is a reminder to all residents of the affected regions to be alert and prepared for the possibility of severe weather conditions.