By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 14,2017, 1:08:53PM,EDT
Following localized areas of damaging thunderstorms early this week, the threat for severe weather, including tornadoes, will be heightened across the central and southern Plains Tuesday into Wednesday.
Residents and travelers from Minnesota to Texas will need to monitor the forecast and keep flashlights and weather radios handy over the next several days.
While there will be plenty of fuel for thunderstorms prior to Tuesday with temperatures soaring into the upper 80s and 90s F, a lack of moisture and any significant storm system will keep severe thunderstorms confined to a localized area.
During the late afternoon and evening hours through Monday, isolated but very potent thunderstorms will develop along the boundary of dry air to the west and moist air to the east from western Kansas to the Texas Panhandle. These thunderstorms will be capable of very large hail, damaging wind gusts and even a tornado or two.
A separate area of severe thunderstorms can develop along the northern edge of building warmth from eastern South Dakota through Minnesota and into western Wisconsin on Monday afternoon. Locations along this swath will be primarily at risk for damaging winds.
A more extensive severe weather event looms beyond the start of the week.
“There will not be much of a trigger for widespread severe thunderstorms to form until Tuesday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait said. “This is when a substantial storm system will be coming out of the Rockies.”
Thunderstorms will blossom late Tuesday afternoon from southwestern Iowa though southeastern Nebraska, west-central Kansas and into the Texas Panhandle.
The severe thunderstorms will then spread eastward through the evening and overnight hours into eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma and south-central Texas.
“The environment will be favorable for supercells (discrete thunderstorms), and thus tornadoes,” Strait said.
“A few tornadoes may be capable of long tracks and extreme intensity,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Joseph Bauer said.
The most widespread impacts from the thunderstorms will be damaging wind gusts, large hail and flash flooding.
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“Disruptions to logistical operations are expected, with downed trees and power lines, road closures and structural damage to businesses and homes all possible,” Bauer said.
These damaging impacts could threaten the cities and surrounding communities of Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha and Grand Island, Nebraska; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City; and Abilene, Texas.
The severe weather through midweek will be the start of another active weather pattern across the Central states as more flooding and severe thunderstorms will target the region spanning Thursday to Sunday.