By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 18,2017, 10:30:55AM,EDT
Potentially violent storms, including the risk of tornadoes, will target the southern Plains on Friday. Damaging storms will continue to march eastward, reaching the southern Appalachians on Sunday.
The possible severe weather outbreak will follow multiple days of severe weather from the northern Plains to the Midwest through the middle of this week.
The late-week severe weather will develop as a vigorous storm sweeps out of the Rockies and toward the Mississippi Valley.
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
The difference between tornado watches and warnings
Severe storms to erupt along midwestern US I-80 corridor through Thursday
"Strong to severe thunderstorms will occur with the whole gamut of impacts ranging from damaging winds and large hail to localized flooding rain and a few tornadoes," according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.
"The exact placement and timing of the severe weather will depend on the speed and track of the parent storm system, as well as the amount of sunshine and daytime heating as the storm moves along," Walker said.
The first severe storms with the event may erupt as early as Thursday evening in western Oklahoma and northwestern Texas.
On Friday, it is possible the focus of severe weather will extend from southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri to north-central Texas. This could be the first big day in terms of the widespread nature of dangerous storms during the event.
This weekend, the severe weather will shift farther east and could be every bit as dangerous as the threat extends into more heavily-populated areas.
"On Saturday, the threat of severe storms will focus on the middle and lower Mississippi Valley," Walker said.
"On Sunday, the threat will extend into the Tennessee Valley, the southern Appalachians and perhaps as far to the north as part of the Ohio Valley."
People living in or traveling through these threat zones, and especially those with outdoor plans, should monitor the weather situation.
Depending on the severity of the situation, not only is there a possibility of major disruptions to travel and outdoor activities, but also a significant threat to lives and property.
"Our long-range team has been monitoring the elevated risk for severe weather for this particular system since early last week," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, adding that people should pay close attention to the risks.