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The prolonged stretch of tranquil weather conditions across the central United States will be cut short as severe thunderstorms erupt into Saturday evening.
Those preoccupied with fall festivals, football tailgates or NASCAR race activities at Kansas Speedway will need to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions on Saturday afternoon.
“Isolated tornadoes will be a concern in the afternoon as storms first develop,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Joseph Bauer said. “Storms will then congeal into a line and move east-southeast.”
Areas from Iowa to Texas will be in the line of fire of the storms capable of producing damaging winds, hail and heavy rain. This includes the cities of Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City; and Dallas.
“The southern edge of this system from the Kansas City area all the way to north-central Texas looks to be the hardest hit area,” Bauer said.
Loose outdoor items should be brought inside to prevent them from being tossed around by the wind. Some communities could face power outages and tree damage.
The storms should move at a swift enough pace to limit the threat for flash flooding to the local level. Most of the rain will help to ease the abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions occurring across the region.
Motorists on stretches of interstates 29, 35, 40, 44, 70 and 80 will face times of reduced visibility and ponding of water on the roads. Slowing down during a downpour greatly decreases the chance of hydroplaning.
Fallen leaves will make the roads even more slippery than during a typical downpour.
Later Saturday evening, storms may still pack a punch by the time they reach Dallas, Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Springfield, Missouri.
Late Saturday night, storms are expected to lose their punch and mainly become a soaking rain and locally gusty wind threat across the upper and middle Mississippi Valley and into the Arklatex.
On Sunday, the heaviest rain will evolve over the Southern states. However, lingering wet weather over the western Great Lakes could have NFL fans heading to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Soldier Field in Chicago reaching for rain jackets and ponchos.
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