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Severe thunderstorms to hit central U.S. late this week

Staff Writer |
Severe thunderstorms and the risk to lives and property will ramp up late this week over parts of the central United States as the first in a series of spring storms arrives.

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While the overall nature of the thunderstorms, including the number of tornadoes possible, is still uncertain, there is the potential for a significant severe weather outbreak spanning Thursday afternoon through Saturday.

The severe storm threat will cover the full spectrum of dangerous weather ranging from wind gusts topping 60 mph and large hail to frequent lightning strikes and isolated flash flooding.

"Given the time of the year, there will likely be at least a few tornadoes in the strongest storms from Thursday into Saturday," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.

The first storms are likely to erupt over the High Plains from western Texas to western and central Nebraska, near the boundary between dry air to the west and moist air to the east on Thursday afternoon.

"A combination of record warmth, surging moisture, a strong storm and shifting winds at different levels of the atmosphere, known as wind shear, will set the stage for severe weather beginning over the southern and central Plains," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.

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