Possible tornadoes, large hail forecast for Plains

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 10:37 AM
Possible tornadoes, large hail forecast for Plains

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds are possible for the southern Plains Thursday afternoon, including southeast Kansas and eastern Oklahoma, according to forecasters.

"Pretty much the whole gamut of severe summer weather is what we're looking at here," said Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

Other areas facing a "moderate risk" of heavy weather Thursday include parts of northeast Texas, southwest Missouri and western Arkansas.

On Friday, areas at risk for tornadoes, damaging winds and hail include eastern Mississippi, south central Tennessee, western Alabama, Slattery said.

He said the weather is not unusual for this time of year. "This is pretty much our peak time of weather for this part of the country," Slattery said.

In other regions, the northeast is expected to be dry, while snow is predicted in the western Dakotas, northwest Nebraska, Montana and the Rockies, according to weather.com. Snow "may become heavy" across central South Dakota and central Nebraska overnight, the site reported. Severe thunderstorms are expected to move across Missouri into southern Illinois and western Kentucky Thursday night.

Near-record flooding has developed along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota as a result of the spring thaw.

High fire danger conditions continue over the rest of Oklahoma and southwest Texas, and in New Mexico and southeast Colorado, the web site said. Texas and some neighboring states have been hit with damaging wildfires that have charred thousands of acres.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Greg McCune)