Palm Sunday Severe Weather Targets Dallas to Chicago

By , Senior Meteorologist
April 14, 2014; 2:27 AM
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Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and hail are erupting across the Plains with places from Texas to Missouri at greatest risk. There is concern for a few tornadoes to touch down.

A complex severe weather situation with bands of violent thunderstorms is evolving.

At some point through Sunday night, places from central and northeastern Texas, central and eastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi will be threatened by strong to severe thunderstorms.

The most numerous dangerous thunderstorms will remain centered on eastern Kansas, the eastern half of Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, northwestern Arkansas and western Missouri.

Within this zone are Dallas; McAlester and Tulsa, Okla.; Parsons, Kan.; Joplin Mo.; and Fayetteville, Ark.

The dangerous thunderstorms will cross this area through Sunday evening with damaging winds and hail, along with a few destructive tornadoes.

"Even if very few tornadoes develop with the severe weather event on Sunday, some of the storms packing high winds and hail have the potential to cause property damage and pose a safety risk," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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"A single tornado striking a populated area can cause great destruction, multiple injuries and loss of life."

Palm Sunday already started with hail-producing thunderstorms tracking from near Omaha, Neb., to St. Louis.

Additional thunderstorms will target this zone--which includes Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa, and stretches eastward to Chicago--through the evening with localized hail and damaging winds the main concerns.

More widespread flash flooding issues may unfold from Iowa to Michigan from heavy rain and drenching thunderstorms.

A thunderstorm earlier Sunday slammed an area near Winfield, Mo., which is located northwest of St. Louis, with quarter-sized hail.

Also through Sunday evening, locally strong thunderstorms will develop across central Arkansas, northeastern Louisiana and eastern Texas.

This line will press eastward to the lower Mississippi River through Sunday night, producing hail, damaging winds and flooding downpours. Isolated tornadoes are also a concern.

Shreveport, La., Little Rock and Jonesboro, Ark., are among the communities in the path of these thunderstorms.

Through Sunday night, the flood threat from downpours across the Plains and Mississippi Valley is greatest where recent rain and thunderstorms have left the ground saturated.

The severe weather threat will wane in the predawn hours of Monday as the thunderstorms track eastward across the middle and lower Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.

Regardless, residents should remain alert for flooding downpours and locally severe thunderstorms with hail and damaging winds. An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

The severe weather danger will shift to the Deep South on Monday, then the eastern Carolinas and the southern Delmarva Peninsula on Tuesday as noticeably colder air plunges across the Plains.

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