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More severe storms to rock the central US with big hail, wind, tornadoes through Friday

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 16, 2019, 3:20:03 AM EDT

Severe storms rocked parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest on Tuesday and more storms will affect part of the central United States through at least Friday.

A series of weak disturbances in the jet stream passing through hot and humid air will continue to trigger rounds of severe thunderstorms from the eastern slopes of the Rockies to parts of the Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes.

The intensity of the storms is likely to be greatest from the late-day through the evening hours. During this time, some of the strongest storms have the potential to produce large hail, wind gusts to 70 mph, localized flooding and isolated tornadoes.

However, some of the storms will survive well into the night. Thundery downpours and lightning can wake some people up at night.

Record-breaking hail fell near Bethune, Colorado, during Tuesday afternoon.

Hail the size of a tennis ball fell on multiple locations in Nebraska on Tuesday with baseball sized-hail reported near Burlington, Colorado.

More golf ball and baseball-sized hail can occur with a few of the storms over the High Plains. Hail this size can easily leave behind dents on vehicles that are not under cover.

Tuesday also featured nearly a dozen preliminary reports of tornadoes between Colorado and Minnesota.

More big hail fell on Colorado on Wednesday. Hail with a diameter up to 3 inches fell near Idalia and Vernon, Colorado. Tennis ball-sized hail fell near Gillette, Wyoming.

Storms will continue to threaten lives and property for the balance of this week in parts of the Central states.

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On Thursday, reports of large hail and wind damage were scattered about the Plains. A tornado was confirmed in a rural part of northeastern Kansas near Alta Vista on Thursday night.

On Friday, the threat is forecast to extend to part of the middle Mississippi Valley, including the St. Louis area.

Severe Friday 3 pm

However, the risk of severe storms will continue farther west over parts of the central High Plains.

Remember to move indoors away from windows at the first rumble of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning.

Where possible, move animals indoors to reduce the risk of trauma in injury from lightning and large hail.

Motorists venturing on Interstate 70, I-80 and other highways in the region should anticipate travel delays. As storms approach the airports, airline passengers are likely to experience flight delays.

As the weekend progresses later this weekend to early next week, the jet stream pattern may change enough to turn off the daily thunderstorms over the central and High Plains. However, storms may erupt farther north and east over the Central states.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert of severe weather advisories. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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