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