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.
In the wake of the snowstorm that grazed the Pittsburgh area on Wednesday, the region will only have to contend with minor weather-related issues this Thanksgiving weekend.
A storm with rain and heavy snow is stretching across the East Coast and Appalachians.
A snowstorm pummeling the East has produced lengthy flight delays and treacherous travel on roadways Wednesday.
A fast-moving snowstorm will sweep through the Plains and Midwest through the middle of the week, but its impacts come during the busiest travel time of the year.
Washington, D.C., will get a break from wintry storms for the balance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Many of the passengers on a plane that was stuck on a runway in Igarka, Russia, pushed it free so they could take off on Tuesday.
New England (1888)
Hurricane passed inside Nantucket over Cape Cod. Later crossed Nova Scotia Block Island- 84 mph wind gust.
North Dakota (1896)
Thanksgiving Day Blizzard. "Wind Velocity and snowfall never equalled before."
Destructive windstorm in the Northwest; winds gusting to 105 mph in Cut Bank, MT; 96 mph in Sheridan, WY. Spokane, WA, radio tower downed. Coleville, WA, lumber shed demolished.