US Weather: Powerful storm to dump large hail and tornadoes on central US

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A forecast model shows one way storms could develop early Tuesday morning.


Millions of people in the central United States face severe thunderstorms early this week that will bring damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes as a powerful storm system strengthens and moves across the country .

Parts of Nebraska and Kansas have a Level 3 of 5 risk for severe thunderstorms on Monday, while a larger area from Texas to South Dakota has a Level 2 risk. Storms are likely to develop overnight and become stronger and more expansive at night, making them more dangerous as they could surprise sleeping or unconscious people. These storms are set to deliver damaging wind gusts, hail, and several tornadoes, some of which could be strong.

The Plains states are not the only region at risk.

A separate area of ​​potentially strong thunderstorms will rage across parts of the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley on Monday afternoon and persist through much of the night. The storms could bring damaging wind gusts and hail from southern Indiana and Kentucky to parts of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.

The risk level for parts of Virginia and the southern tip of Maryland increased to a level 3 of 5 early Monday afternoon, due to the increased chance of thunderstorms with frequent damaging wind gusts.

An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in this region.

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In the central United States, baseball-sized hail could hit parts of Texas and areas from Kansas to southern South Dakota.

Storms in parts of Kansas and Nebraska can produce strong tornadoes (EF2 strength or greater), but the tornado threat is not limited to those states. Any storm from Texas to South Dakota could spawn a tornado.

The storms most likely to produce tornadoes are expected to develop after dark on Monday. This timing makes these storms very dangerous, as they studies show Nighttime tornadoes are more than twice as deadly as daytime tornadoes.

Nighttime tornadoes are difficult to detect in the dark, and sleepers may not be aware that danger is approaching. A loaded phone with alerts enabled at full volume is the best way to ensure that critical warnings wake you up in time.

The severe storm threat will move east on Tuesday. Monday night’s storms are likely to continue across parts of the Plains and are poised to cross into the Mississippi Valley at dawn Tuesday.

Some of these storms will remain strong as they move into parts of the Midwest during the afternoon. Another round of severe storms may develop again Tuesday afternoon following the morning storms.

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On Tuesday there is a Level 2 of 5 risk from Arkansas to Iowa and Wisconsin, with a Level 3 of 5 risk from northeastern Missouri to eastern Iowa and extreme western Illinois.

Any storm on Tuesday could produce damaging wind gusts, hail and tornadoes. But the greatest risk of tornadoes and large hail is within the Level 3 of 5 risk area.

Heavy rain and flooding are also a concern due to stormy weather earlier this week. Parts of the Plains and Midwest could be inundated with 1 to 3 inches of rain Monday through Tuesday.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, are already dealing with excess rain this month, with more than a dozen river gauges already in minor flood stage even before the next round of rain arrives.

Additional rainfall may cause river levels to rise further or cause flash flooding.

The severe thunderstorm threat will persist on Wednesday as the storm system moves eastward. Storms with damaging winds, hail and tornadoes could develop in other parts of the Midwest and parts of the Tennessee Valley during the afternoon and early evening.

CNN’s Robert Shackelford and Elizabeth Wolfe contributed to this report.

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