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More severe storms to rock the central US with big hail, wind, tornadoes through Friday

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 2 days ago alex.sosnowski

Severe storms rocked parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest on Tuesday and more storms will affect part of the central United States through at least Friday.

A series of weak disturbances in the jet stream passing through hot and humid air will trigger rounds of severe thunderstorms from the eastern slopes of the Rockies to parts of the Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes in the coming days.

The intensity of the storms is likely to be greatest from the late-day through the evening hours. During this time, some of the strongest storms have the potential to produce large hail, wind gusts to 70 mph, localized flooding and isolated tornadoes.

However, some of the storms will survive well into the night. Thundery downpours and lightning can wake some people up at night.

Hail around the size of 5.5 inches fell near Bethune, Colorado, during Tuesday afternoon. If verified, this would become the largest hailstone on record measured in Colorado. The prior record for large hail in the state was 4.5 inches.

Hail the size of a tennis ball fell on multiple locations in Nebraska on Tuesday with baseball sized-hail reported near Burlington, Colorado.

More golf ball and baseball-sized hail can occur with a few of the storms over the High Plains. Hail this size can easily leave behind dents on vehicles that are not under cover.

Tuesday also featured nearly a dozen preliminary reports of tornadoes on Tuesday between Colorado and Minnesota.

Storms will continue to threaten lives and property for the balance of this week in part of the Central states.

During Wednesday afternoon and evening, the risk of severe weather will be greatest from eastern Colorado and western Kansas to eastern Wyoming, western and central Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota.

a close up of a map: Wednesday Severe Plains 10 am © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Wednesday Severe Plains 10 am

Another area where storms can become a bit feisty will be over part of the lower Great Lakes region into Wednesday night. A few of these storms can bring strong wind gusts, hail and flooding downpours.

a close up of a map: North Central Wednesday © Provided by Accuweather, Inc North Central Wednesday

On Thursday, much of the same area of the High Plains is again forecast to be affected by thunderstorms, some of which can be severe.

However, the severe weather threat will expand eastward and southward to include eastern portions of South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, much of northern Oklahoma, northwestern Missouri and southwestern Iowa.

a close up of a map: Severe Thursday Plains 10 am © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Severe Thursday Plains 10 am

Major cities at risk for severe thunderstorms in part of their metro areas include Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Des Moines, Iowa.

On Friday, the threat is forecast to extend to part of the middle Mississippi Valley, including the St. Louis area.

a close up of a map: Friday Severe 10 am © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Friday Severe 10 am

However, the risk of severe storms will continue farther west over parts of the central High Plains.

Remember to move indoors away from windows at the first rumble of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning.

Where possible, move animals indoors to reduce the risk of trauma in injury from lightning and large hail.

Motorists venturing on Interstate 70, I-80 and other highways in the region should anticipate travel delays. As storms approach the airports, airline passengers are likely to experience flight delays.

As the weekend progresses later this weekend to early next week, the jet stream pattern may change enough to turn off the daily thunderstorms over the central and High Plains. However, storms may erupt farther north and east over the Central states.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert of severe weather advisories. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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