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.
Showers and thunderstorms will return to the Southwest late this week and could reach part of California.
A cold front swinging into the Northeast will bring the threat of severe weather to part of the region on Tuesday afternoon.
The southwest Gulf of Mexico has given birth to the Atlantic basin's fourth tropical storm of the season and will send torrential rain into northern Mexico.
Flooding is a concern across southwest Mexico through midweek as Norbert moves just offshore.
The Alaskan wood frog, which freezes itself during the harsh winter months, can remain in an extreme frozen state far longer than researchers originally thought.
An area of low pressure will bring a threat of heavy rain and flooding to parts of southern Europe through the middle of the week.
Matecumbe Key, FL (1935)
Labor Day Hurricane hit Florida. Pressure at Matecumbe Key dipped to 26.35"/892.3 mb. Most intense hurricane ever to hit the U.S. with 200-mph wind. Tide of 15 feet; 408 dead.
Mecca, CA (1950)
126 degrees - highest ever for U.S. in Sept.
East Coast (1775)