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    Severe Weather Tonight: Texas to Iowa, Illinois

    By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
    October 13, 2012; 10:00 AM ET
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    A strengthening storm tracking toward Michigan will continue to spark violent thunderstorms before the weekend comes to a close.

    Severe thunderstorms, some capable of spawning tornadoes, are already erupting across the central and southern Plains with more to follow as tonight progresses.

    The risk of damaging and life-threatening storms remains high through this evening across central Texas, central and eastern Oklahoma, central and eastern Kansas, northern and western Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, southeastern Nebraska, Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

    According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "The potential from the storms spans the complete arsenal of violent weather ranging from large hail and flash flooding to damaging straight-line wind gusts and tornadoes."

    One severe thunderstorm from earlier today downed power lines and a store's sign in Altus, Okla.

    Cities that could be hit by violent thunderstorms into this evening include Omaha, Des Moines, Rockford, Kansas City, Joplin, Fayetteville, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Wichita.

    College and high school football games are only a handful of the activities that could be impacted by the severe weather threat.

    Late tonight, the severe weather danger will shift eastward to Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock and Shreveport.

    The risk of storms with strong wind gusts and torrential downpours will then continue into the latter part of the weekend.

    Over portions of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, strong wind gusts, with and without thunder, are a possibility as a cool front plows eastward during Sunday. Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus and Detroit could experience squalls capable of knocking down tree limbs and power lines.

    Farther south, locally drenching thunderstorms may affect portions of central and northeastern Texas to part of the lower Mississippi Valley Sunday.

    The pattern shaping up into this weekend is a classic example of the secondary severe weather season that occurs during autumn.

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