Central states preparing for another round of volatile storms on Sunday

Following a volatile eruption of severe weather across the Plains on Friday and Saturday, resulting in nearly 125 combined preliminary tornado reports, the pattern unfolding across the nation's midsection on Sunday may continue to bring hazards such as damaging wind gusts, hail, flash flooding and tornadoes.

To put into perspective how numerous the storm reports were on Friday, when over 80 preliminary tornadoes occurred, AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex Duffus noted that the last day when there were more than 75 filtered tornado reports was March 31st, 2023. On that date, there were 163 filtered tornado reports. Filtered storm reports remove the duplicate reports that would otherwise lead to an inaccurately high total for an event.

Similar to Friday, AccuWeather meteorologists marked another rare 'high' risk for severe weather from south-central Oklahoma to east-central Kansas and the western border of Missouri for Saturday outlining the area with the best prospects for destructive, widespread and dangerous storms.


Storms that ripped through the Plains on Friday were associated with the first of two expansive storm systems to pulse across the Central states into the start of the new week. On Saturday, this initial feature continued to track northeastward and moved over the Great Lakes, eventually pushing into southeastern Canada as the secondary storm made its debut across the Plains.

Due to the high risk nature of the storms through Saturday night and the widespread coverage area of hazardous storms, experts urge the tens of millions of people within the danger zone this weekend to be prepared.

AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter said that AccuWeather meteorologists recommend people in the risk areas to make sure they have multiple ways of getting weather warnings so they can quickly move to safe shelter if faced with an immediate threat.

Another component of the storms that should not be disregarded is the flood risk. Due to the repeat downpours and rounds of storms since late last week, locations from northeast Oklahoma to southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri can face a widespread flash flood risk through Sunday night.

Residents are urged to take additional caution when traveling and should not attempt to drive on flooded roadways. Experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into dangerous floodwaters.

On Sunday, the same area of low pressure that will spark storms across the Plains on Saturday will shift eastward, bringing yet another day of hazards.

Locations from central Texas to eastern Nebraska and Iowa will be at risk once again through Sunday night. A moderate risk zone is being highlighted around metro areas like Little Rock, Arkansas, as an corridor where the chances for robust storms is greater.

Localized damaging wind gusts of 55-65 mph will be possible with peak winds up to the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 75 mph. Other severe weather risks such as hail, intense downpours and isolated tornadoes will also be within the realm of possibilities on Sunday.

Residents are cautioned to stay hyper-vigilant when the risk for severe weather lasts into the overnight hours. Potent thunderstorms hidden under the cover of darkness, especially when there is an isolated tornado threat, can result in an elevated danger.

The threat will continue to evolve into the new workweek as the primary zone of low pressure nudges northeastward. From Monday to Monday night, thunderstorms can develop across the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf Coast and pose yet another risk for severe weather hazards like hail, gusty winds and flash flooding.

On Tuesday, AccuWeather meteorologists say that a new area of low pressure will eject from the Rocky Mountains into the central states. The chance for additional severe weather will arise as thunderstorms erupt Tuesday evening from far eastern Kansas to Iowa and southern Minnesota. Storms can pack hail and locally damaging winds as they evolve into the night.

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