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Severe weather outbreak predicted in Oklahoma, Kansas

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/18/2017
Jody Darling, a friend of the residents of this home in Elk City, Okla., talks on a phone while standing in a room of the house that is now totally exposed on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Over a dozen tornadoes were reportedly spawned by powerful storms that raced through a swath of the central U.S. stretching from Texas to the Great Lakes on Tuesday evening. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via AP): Jody Darling talks on a phone on Wednesday while standing in a room of a house destroyed in a tornado. © The Associated Press Jody Darling talks on a phone on Wednesday while standing in a room of a house destroyed in a tornado.

NORMAN, Okla. — Forecasters are predicting a tornado outbreak in parts of the Southern Plains on Thursday, the latest in a stormy week that has raked the country's midsection and left two people dead.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, is classifying Thursday's storm chances as high risk in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas — the most severe risk category. The forecast bull's-eye of the storm includes Wichita, Kansas, and rural areas of southern Kansas and western Oklahoma.

Forecasters say the storms could bring "strong long-track tornadoes" in central and southern Kansas into western Oklahoma along with baseball-sized hail. More storms are possible later in the day in the lower Great Lakes region.

Storms have battered Southern Plains and Midwestern states all week, with deaths reported Tuesday in Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

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