It is sure shaping up to be a wild weekend of weather ahead. Tornadoes are expected to move across the middle of the United States on Saturday over an area stretching from Texas up through Nebraska, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The strongest possibility of severe weather this weekend will be in central Kansas and Oklahoma although several states are in the cross-hairs of the storm.
Dallas was slammed by tornadoes and hail earlier this month which causes nearly 2,000 flights to be canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. In early March, in the Midwest and portions of the Southeast, at least forty people lost their lives and more than $1 billion worth of damages occurred when tornadoes struck. That weather event was the first billion dollar weather-related disaster of the year in the U.S. Last year, there were fourteen weather-related disasters which topped out at over $1 billion in damages or more.
The large storm system that is moving across the country will become stronger as we head into the weekend. Heavy rains, lightening, damaging hail and strong winds will be prevalent as will the possibility of tornadoes. Forecasters are warning that some of these tornadoes could be very large and long-lasting with F2 or higher status.
The U.S. government’s official eye in the sky, The Storm Prediction Center expects the large storm system to roll across the Plains Friday evening through Sunday. This storm has already done damage to portions of Texas near Amarillo. Many roads were closed in that area due to hail stones piling up which were two feet deep. The center is also warning that this severe storm system may bring with it the heaviest rains since November as it predicts that two inches of rain or more may fall in some spots – and that’s just through mid-day on Sunday. More heavy showers and thunderstorms could occur after that as the storm slowly meanders across the nation.
The National Weather Service has issued a rare “High Risk” threat for portions of Oklahoma and Kansas Saturday. It warns that strong tornadoes could develop there. The twisters could end up being long-tracking storms which are potentially life-threatening. The service has issued a “Moderate” risk for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, southern Nebraska, northern Missouri and southwestern Iowa.