Dangerous storms to threaten central US with wind, hail and tornadoes this week


This spring's long-awaited first round of dangerous severe storms is expected to impact the central U.S. this week.

It will be important for residents and people traveling in areas from Texas to Iowa to prepare for the effects of destructive thunderstorms Monday through Wednesday, including obtaining a working weather radio, setting up severe alerts on a charged cell phone, securing outdoor objects, knowing where to find a safe place at home, school and in the work place, and making sure to stay up to date on local watches and warnings.

While Sunday afternoon could host a few strong thunderstorms in the western Plains, conditions are expected to be prime for more isolated, severe storms to spark on Monday afternoon.


A portion of the central Plains will host the first round of severe weather on Monday, including eastern South Dakota and central Nebraska.

While storms are not expected to be widespread, any isolated thunderstorms will be capable of producing strong winds and large hail, which can lead to property damage and loss of crops and livestock.

Mon Severe 4.29 AM
Mon Severe 4.29 AM

There is the potential for a few isolated tornadoes to form as well.

Residents should make sure to have a weather radio or a charged cell phone with weather alerts enabled nearby overnight in the event that threatening weather approaches after sunset.

Related: See photos from record-breaking Winter Storm Toby:


The threat of severe weather will shift eastward on Tuesday, focusing on portions of eastern Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri and much of Iowa.

"Large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will the main threats with these storms," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

Tue Severe 4.29 AM
Tue Severe 4.29 AM

Any storms could produce wind gusts up to 70 mph, in addition to large hail and several inches of rainfall in a short period of time.

Residents of Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa and Kansas City will be under the threat of severe weather, including a heightened threat of urban flooding from heavy downpours.

Anyone traveling through this area on Interstates 90, 80, 70 and 35 should avoid traveling through any storms and seek shelter in a sturdy building if threatening weather approaches. Flooded areas should be avoided in the aftermath of the storm as well.

Rathbun elaborated that a more isolated severe threat will be present farther south, across Oklahoma and Texas.

"Hail will be the primary threats with these storms, though locally damaging winds and flash flooding will also be a concern," he said.

Related: See severe tornadoes, hail from 2017:


Conditions will again be prime for severe weather across many of the same places on Wednesday, in addition to a wide swath of the central and southern Plains as well.

"The severe threat each day this week will largely depend on the effect of lingering clouds and thunderstorms from leftover complexes the previous nights," Rathbun said.

Regardless, anyone who experiences severe weather on Tuesday should prepare for a similar threat on Wednesday.

Wed severe static 4/29
Wed severe static 4/29

Heat surging into the southern Plains at midweek will fuel the year's first round of widespread severe weather, making "Wednesday the most likely day in which Oklahoma could receive its first tornado of the 2018 season," Rathbun said.

It will be imperative for everyone in the affected area to stay up to date on local watches and warnings and to take the proper precautions in any severe weather situation.