Severe weather to target Houston to Chicago on Veterans Day

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National Weather Forecast

By Kristina Pydynowski, for AccuWeather

Severe weather, including tornadoes and high winds will endanger a large swath of the Central United States on Veterans Day.

Residents from Iowa and Illinois to northern Mississippi and central Texas will remain on alert for potentially damaging thunderstorms to erupt Wednesday. The risk of severe storms will extend eastward into Wednesday night.

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The severe thunderstorm threat zone covers an area home to approximately 30 million people.

See photos of recent weather across the US:

16 PHOTOS
Recent weather across the U.S., November
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Severe weather to target Houston to Chicago on Veterans Day
SANTA ANA, CA., NOVEMBER 9, 2015: Sarad Lopez (cq) holds an umbrella while her mother shops on Fourth Steet in Santa Ana during a light rain November 9, 2015 (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
SANTA ANA, CA., NOVEMBER 9, 2015: Keisha Flores holds her umbrella while she shops on Fourth Steet in Santa Ana during a light rain November 9, 2015 (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A plane flys above the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Leaves change color on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A woman rides a bicycle around the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
People walk along Times Square in New York on November 6, 2015. New York recorded its hottest November 6 in nearly 70 years, as skaters splashed through puddles on a much-loved ice rink and commuters strolled around in T-shirts. AFP PHOTO/ JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman has an ice-cream on a cone as she walks along a street in New York on November 6, 2015. New York recorded its hottest November 6 in nearly 70 years, as skaters splashed through puddles on a much-loved ice rink and commuters strolled around in T-shirts. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A helicopter flies above the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
JACKSON, MS - NOVEMBER 07: Volunteers exit the course after play was called due to inclement weather during a continuation of the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson on November 7, 2015 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: Snow making in full force after a fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and less in town in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: A bike rose rides through snow in town after a fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and less in town in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: A fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and snowmaking is piling on in anticipation of a November 5 opening day in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
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Cities in the threat zone include Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Chicago and Springfield, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Houston.

"All the ingredients are coming together for a potent round of severe weather in the Plains and Mississippi Valley," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott.

This system will first spread snow across parts of the West through Tuesday night, including Salt Lake City and Denver.

Wednesday's severe weather will erupt as the system emerges from the Rockies, strengthening in the process, and clashes with the warm and moist air that will be pouring into the Central U.S.

forecast

"Some strong storms could start out the day on Wednesday and produce damaging winds across eastern portions of Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and Texas," stated Elliott.

"The main threat will develop in the afternoon with severe storms firing along and west of the Mississippi River," Elliott continued. "Isolated tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding are all threats."

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Meteorologist Alex Avalos has pinpointed "Northern and central Missouri, including St. Louis, as the area of greatest concern [for isolated tornadoes] at this point."

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"The fast nature of this system should prevent sufficient destabilization which should preclude a more sufficient tornado threat," Avalos added. However, it only takes one tornado to devastate a community.

Residents should take the time now amid the current dry and calm spell to review severe weather safety tips.

Adverse weather accompanying the strengthening storm will not just be confined to the Mississippi Valley on Veterans Day.

High Winds to Sweep Eastward Across Central US

Potentially damaging winds in the absence of thunderstorms threaten to whip across the central Plains, including in Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, during Wednesday.

forecast

The high winds will spread to the middle Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes following the thunderstorms Wednesday night into Thursday.

Where severe weather leads to damage in the mid-Mississippi Valley during Wednesday, the strong winds that follow at night and into Thursday could lead to more damage and problems for cleanup crews.

Tree damage, sporadic power outages and travel delays will result from the winds, potentially including in Chicago during Wednesday evening. High winds could reach Detroit by Thursday.

Otherwise, the severe weather threat, in terms of thunderstorms, should lower significantly on Thursday as the storm system reaches the East Coast.

Other effects from the large storm include soaking rain and windswept snow.

A soaking rain will spread from around Nebraska to Wisconsin, leading to travel disruptions and ruining outdoor plans on Wednesday.

A blizzard on the storm's far western edge, will affect Denver and portions of Interstate 25 and I-70 on Wednesday morning.

Content contributed by AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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