The same storm system slated to trigger severe weather across the South and East to end the workweek got its legs late on Wednesday over the Plains, unleashing numerous powerful thunderstorms.
Numerous communities from Nebraska to Texas, including some large cities, were rattled by the damaging storms which unleashed hail to the size of softballs and grapefruits, as well as wind gusts as high as 90 mph.
As of early on Thursday morning, more than 300 reports of severe weather and damage were being compiled by the Storm Prediction Center from Wednesday's storms.
Among the reports were at least five tornadoes in non-populated areas, nearly 200 incidents of hail of at least an inch in diameter, and well over 100 reports of strong winds and wind damage.
Most of the severe weather reports were clustered from central Kansas to the Lone Star State in association with several complexes of severe storms that formed late in the afternoon into the nighttime hours.
Preliminary storm reports from the Storm Prediction Center from Wednesday and Wednesday night's storms, as of 4:10 a.m. EDT on Thursday. (SPC)
Wichita, Kan., home to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, was rocked by one of those clusters of storms around 8:00 p.m. local time. Following an ominous storm cloud, winds gusted between 50 and 70 mph in the metropolitan area, while rain and small hail poured down for several minutes.
More than 5,000 people were still without power early on Thursday morning in Westar Energy's Kansas service area, including 2,300 alone in Sedgwick County, home to Wichita.
While impressive, Wichita did not stake claim to the strongest wind gust of the night. That dubious honor goes to Paducah, Texas, where winds were estimated at 90 mph as a thunderstorm rolled through town, uprooting full trees and sending sheet metal flying through the air.
Wind gusts in excess of 70 mph were also clocked in thunderstorms as they passed through Haskell, Texas; Carmen, Okla.; Grady, Okla. and Ninnekah, Okla.
Instagram user @mollymoso took this photo of hail in Hays, Kan., Wednesday afternoon.
With the wind gusts, trees up to 2 feet in diameter were toppled, some homes sustained roof damage and tractor trailers were blown off highways.
In addition to the strong winds, many storms produced large and damaging hail.
Golf ball-sized hail (1.75 inches in diameter) caused considerable damage to, among other things, a brand new convertible near North Platte, Neb., during the afternoon hours.
Incredibly large hail, to the size of softballs (4 inches in diameter) and grapefruits (4.5 inches in diameter), broke skylights and knocked limbs off healthy trees near the west-central Texas towns of Paducah and Millersview.
Unfortunately, several more rounds of severe weather are expected through Friday from Texas to the East Coast as the parent storm system advances east.
Following a blustery and chilly weekend, temperatures will once again take a tumble across the northeastern United States during the first half of the week.
Dry weather set to dominate the southern United States into November will only worsen the already extreme drought conditions.
Several storms will bring periods of rain and gusty winds to the west coast of the United States this week.
Flooding downpours and thunderstorms will target a part of the central United States at midweek.
The changing of the seasons will bring beneficial rainfall to northern Brazil, a region that has experienced severe drought over the past several years.
Powerful solar storms can devastate the world's interconnected power grids, airline operations, satellites and communications networks.
Newbury, VT (1843)
12 inches of snow.
East Coast, USA (1878)
"Gale of '78;" hurricane center over Richmond, VA. Washington, DC. barometer reading of 28.78"/975 mb. Cape May had winds of 84 mph from the SE. Highest tide ever for the Delaware River. Winds 100 mph at Wilmington, DE. Severe damage in Philadelphia.
Off British Columbia Coast (1918)
The Princess Sophia struck a coastal reef in severe storm and sank. All 343 aboard drowned.