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    Gusty thunderstorms to kick up over central Plains into Friday night

    By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
    March 16, 2018, 7:08:59 PM EDT

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    Spring is just around the corner and a pulse of gusty thunderstorms is likely over a portion of the central Plains and the Deep South into Friday night.

    Into early Friday night, the area at risk for locally damaging thunderstorms from Mississippi to Missouri and northeastern Kansas. Storms will generally progress from west to east across this zone. Some communities may be hit with strong wind gusts, large hail and isolated flash flooding.

    Static Central Plains 3 pm


    Farther south, the risk of severe thunderstorms is lower over the lower Mississippi Valley. However, a few heavy, gusty thunderstorms are likely.

    Part of the same general area may be at risk for localized severe thunderstorms on Sunday.

    While an outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is not anticipated with this episode, thunderstorms may become severe at the local level, and a handful of the strongest storms may produce a tornado.

    The greatest threats to lives and property will be torrential downpours and the potential for localized flash flooding.

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    Motorists should be prepared for the sudden downpours that can briefly reduce the visibility to a few hundred feet or less. Excess water on the road during the downpours may cause a vehicle to lose traction when traveling too fast.

    A small number of communities can be hit by a storm that brings strong winds capable of knocking down trees and power lines as well as cause minor property damage.

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