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    Central US violent storms, flash flooding may strike at night adding to dangers this weekend

    By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
    April 28, 2017, 3:43:25 AM EDT

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    Violent storms and flooding will target the south-central United States from late Friday through Sunday and may hit some neighborhoods hard in the middle of the night.

    The severe weather this weekend will follow locally damaging storms from Tuesday night to Wednesday in much of the same area.

    The severe weather threat to end the week can evolve into a very damaging and life-threatening event for parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as much of Arkansas.

    The full spectrum of severe weather conditions, including large hail, high winds, tornadoes, frequent lightning strikes and flooding downpours, can occur with the upcoming outbreak.

    "One of the most dangerous aspects from this particular severe weather event will be for powerful, nocturnal thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday night," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Richard Schraeger.

    "Some people may retire for the evening, thinking that they were missed by the storms, only to be slammed by violent weather conditions in the middle of the night," Schraeger said.

    Severe weather timing

    The first heavy storms will erupt in scattered fashion over the southern Plains during Friday.

    static fri night 4/28

    Storms from west-central Oklahoma and northwestern Texas will likely turn violent Friday evening, Schraeger stated.

    "These potentially dangerous storms will progress eastward across central and eastern Oklahoma and will brush some of the neighboring counties in north-central Texas and southeastern Kansas Friday night," Schraeger said.

    Storms are also likely to turn violent as far to the east as western Tennessee, southern Missouri and southwestern Kentucky from Friday night to Saturday morning.

    Static Saturday Severe 3 pm

    During the midday and afternoon on Saturday, the threat of severe storms will progress farther to the southeast through Arkansas and northeastern Texas to northern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi.

    However, storms may also erupt a bit farther to the northwest, in parts of Missouri and Illinois, when compared to Friday night.

    static sun 4/28

    During Sunday, the potential for severe thunderstorms will extend from eastern Louisiana through much of Mississippi, northwestern Alabama and perhaps central Tennessee.

    Flooding threat

    Some locations from the southern Plains to parts of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley will be hit by multiple storms and excessive rainfall. A few inches of rain in a few hours is more than enough to trigger flash, urban and small stream flooding.

    After receiving 1-3 inches of rain on Wednesday, areas in and around Saint Louis can expect flooding to ensue quicker than one would usually expect.

    Stormy weather is set to return in full force this weekend.

    static flooding 4/28

    "Heavy rain and thunderstorms will train over the Saint Louis area late Saturday and Saturday night, increasing the threat of widespread flooding," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore.

    "Some areas could see up to another 6 inches of rain late Saturday and Saturday night."

    A broad area from northeastern Texas to southern Illinois can expect 4 to 8 inches of rain to fall through this weekend, according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.

    "There is the potential for a foot of rain to fall from portions of southern Missouri to northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, including the Ozark Mountains, where widespread flooding is likely," Walker said.

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    Depending on exactly how much rain falls through the weekend, a significant rise in water levels along some of the main tributaries of the Mississippi River could also occur. This includes a portion of the Arkansas, Quachita, Red and White rivers. Unprotected communities along these waterways may need to take action into next week.

    Be prepared

    People will need to be prepared to take quick action, including during the middle of the night. They can protect themselves from approaching storms by monitoring severe weather and flash flood bulletins.

    Leave a fully charged cell phone, television or radio on with the volume up to hear weather alerts. People who download a weather application for their phone should enter their local area information and enable notifications.

    Have clothes, shoes, a flashlight and valuable information handy in case of an emergency, such as an evacuation or dash to a storm shelter.

    People who must travel through the severe weather and flood threat zone should be extremely cautious.

    To reduce the risk of being overtaken by rapidly rising waters, limit travel to elevated roads, such as major interstate highways, but be on the lookout for rapidly changing weather conditions.

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