A strengthening storm early Friday will bring the potential for severe weather in the southern Plains Friday evening and overnight.
The storm will track slowly eastward over the southern third of the nation through the weekend.
The threat of strong, potentially severe, thunderstorms will stretch from northeastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, much of Arkansas and southern Missouri.
With these storms, the greatest risks will be damaging wind gusts, flash flooding and a few incidents of large hail.
These impacts will not affect every place in the outlined area, but gusts could potentially bring down trees and power lines. While there is a low risk of tornadoes with this event, severe thunderstorms occasionally produce such dangerous conditions.
The rain from Friday's storms is not expected to bring widespread problems, like the dangerous flooding in the Midwest earlier this week, initially. However, as the excessive water from the northern portions of the Mississippi works downstream and meets up with the rain falling this weekend, significant rises are possible on stretches of the Lower Mississippi into next week. Flash and urban flooding is the primary concern farther east this weekend.
Like all thunderstorms, these will also pose the threat of lightning strikes. As reported by NOAA recently, the first lightning death of 2013 occurred on Tuesday, April 23. In Pomona City, Missouri, a woman was struck and killed while standing under a tree.
Developing or fast-moving thunderstorms can give little or no notice of lightning about to strike. Severe thunderstorms can cause multiple lightning strikes within a small area. Seek shelter indoors as storms approach.
Time lapse photo of lightning strikes spanning about 2.5 minutes by Flickr user Bo Insogna.
A car or truck can offer adequate protection from lightning. However, avoid remaining in a vehicle beneath a tree during a storm as strong winds can case large limbs to crash down. Golf carts and picnic pavilions do not offer sufficient protection from lightning.
The changing of the seasons will bring beneficial rainfall to northern Brazil, a region that has experienced severe drought over the past several years.
Rain and thunderstorms will continue to cause travel delays and raise the risk of isolated flooding in parts of the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada into the weekend.
Typhoon Haima made a second landfall in southeastern China on Friday after leaving at least 13 dead in the northern Philippines.
Damaging storms pounded the Pacific Northwest over the course of four days, while two powerful typhoons struck the Philippines within a four-day span.
A dramatic change to colder weather, and in some cases a taste of winter with snow, will take place into this weekend.
Orionid meteors will streak across the night sky as the shower is set to peak late this week.
Raleigh-Durham, NC (2000)
No precipitation since September 26th, a record long dry spell. (The month ended with only a trace of rain.)
San Salvador Island (1492)
Columbus made landfall on San Salvador Island under clear skies -- fortunately he met no hurricanes on First Voyage through March, 1493.
Salano's Storm prevented Spanish admiral from attacking Pensacola.