Memorial Day Storms From Texas to the Dakotas

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
May 27, 2013; 7:21 PM ET
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Dangerous thunderstorms will once again erupt across the Plains this Memorial Day from West Texas northward to the western Dakotas.

All totaled, over 10 million people run the risk of strong thunderstorms during the day.

While a major tornado outbreak is not expected, a couple of the strongest thunderstorms that develop can produce tornadoes.

Indications are that this risk will focus over northern Kansas and southern Nebraska to neighboring Missouri Monday evening. This includes Hastings in Nebraska, Salina in Kansas and the Kansas City, Mo., metro area.

The thunderstorms that develop throughout the Plains on Memorial Day will also have the potential to bring hail as large as baseballs and wind gusts as high as 70 mph.

Hail this size is capable of causing serious injury to anyone caught outside. It can also kill exposed livestock, damage or destroy crops and smash windshields.

Wind gusts as high as 70 mph can easily uproot trees, snap branches and blow over power poles.

These thunderstorms will impact some of the same areas that were affected on Sunday, and flash flooding from heavy rainfall will also be a concern.

Severe Thunderstorm Outbreak to Begin Wednesday, Perhaps Tornadoes
Severe Weather Center
Central Plains Flash Flood Risk Continues

If you will be out and about over the Memorial Day weekend, keep an eye to the sky, especially in the afternoon and evening hours.

Once thunderstorms develop, they will strengthen quickly, and severe weather may not be far away.

Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent.

Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.


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