More Powerful Storms Aim for Nebraska, Kansas

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
August 5, 2013; 9:22 PM ET
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Jet stream energy rounding a strong ridge of high pressure over Texas will spark yet another severe weather episode from eastern Colorado into western Kansas on northward into Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

Some of the cities and towns most at risk include Goodland, Kan.; Sterling, Colo.; Imperial, Neb.; North Platte, Neb.; Scottsbluff, Neb.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Rapid City, S.D. and Miles City, Mont., to name a few.

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This region has been a persistent target for severe weather since the start of August. Last Thursday, dangerous storms brought powerful winds and frightening clouds to Nebraska.

On Saturday, intense thunderstorms packing tremendous hail and tornadoes spun their way across northeastern Colorado.

On Sunday, incredible rain flooded countless roads and croplands across Kansas. The town of Hutchinson had over 6 inches of rain, and resulted in normally dry areas of town being transformed into lakes.

Though not all areas will have severe thunderstorms tomorrow, those that do face similar risks as recent days.

Hail as large as quarters, golf balls or even baseballs are possible in the most powerful storms. This kind of hail can cause injury to people and livestock. Crops can have significant damage. Windshields on vehicles and windows on homes can be shattered.

Damaging wind gusts as high as 60 or 70 mph are also a possibility. These winds can uproot trees, blow down power poles and easily blow around any unsecured objects left outside.

Flooding rain is also a possibility across these areas. Rainfall amounts will average 0.25-1.00 inch in most areas, but this rainfall will likely occur over a short duration, resulting in flash flooding.

In parts of Kansas, virtually any rainfall can lead to flooding considering the tremendous rainfall on Saturday night into Sunday.

If you will be out and about or have any plans on Wednesday afternoon through the night, you will need to pay special attention to the weather as this could be a particularly dangerous situation.

Once thunderstorms develop, they will strengthen quickly, and dangerous conditions could follow soon after.

Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alerts of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. 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. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm. The time to have a plan of action and move to the general vicinity of a storm shelter or safe area is when a watch is issued.

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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