Severe Weather Risk for the Plains This Weekend

By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
November 10, 2012; 6:35 AM ET
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As a storm with blizzard conditions affects the northern Rockies and High Plains this weekend, a swath of strong to potentially dangerous and damaging thunderstorms will reach south and east over the Central states.

According to Senior Meteorologist Tyler Dewvall, "The greatest risk of severe thunderstorms during the event is likely to stretch from western Oklahoma through central Kansas, eastern Nebraska and into Iowa late Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening."

The storms could impact the metro areas of Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines into Saturday evening.

Dewvall and the team of severe weather meteorologists at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, Inc., expect the traits of some of the storms to be wind gusts between 55 and 65 mph, torrential downpours and hail.

The storms are forecast to diminish slightly overnight Saturday. However, a line of strong thunderstorms may continue to the east and south into Sunday, Veterans Day reaching from northern Michigan to Texas.

"There is a possibility of strong to locally severe thunderstorms moving through Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas during Sunday," Dewvall said.

A period of intense, windswept rainfall could accompany the storms, which will mark the approach and passage of a strong cold front. In the wake of the front, temperatures will plunge 20 to 40 degrees.

With any thunderstorm, severe or not, there is always a risk of cloud to ground lightning strikes. Sports fans and officials will want to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions as the front and storms approach.

The front will separate building warmth in the East into early next week from winterlike cold driving across the Plains.

The storms along the front will transition to more of a zone of drenching rain and embedded thunder swinging eastward over the Ohio Valley and central Gulf Coast Sunday night and Monday.

It is possible that as the front continues to drive eastward Tuesday, the cold air catches up quickly with the rain. The rain could end as a brief period of snow in parts of the eastern Great Lakes and Appalachians as a result.

Away from the severe weather risk and the temperature plunge that follows, the rainfall is greatly needed over much of the Plains and Mississippi Valley.

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