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Damaging storms, tornadoes threaten Dallas to Omaha this week

Anonymous • Apr 21, 2014 at 9:39 PM

AccuWeather.com reports while remaining on a localized level through Tuesday, severe weather will ramp up across the Plains on Wednesday.

The stage is being set for violent thunderstorms to line the central and southern Plains later Wednesday afternoon and night, from Nebraska to west-central Texas.

Cities in the path of the outbreak include North Platte, McCook, Omaha and Grand Island, Neb.; Dodge City and Russell, Kan.; Gage and Clinton, Okla.; and Childress, Abilene and San Angelo, Texas.

The worst of the severe weather, at this point, is expected to remain to the north and west of Wichita, Kan., but the city may still become the target of a strong and gusty thunderstorm overnight Wednesday.

"If there is no change to the current thinking, [Wednesday] will be a busy day dealing with a myriad of severe weather of all kinds, including large hail, high wind gusts as well as tornadoes," stated AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.

As night falls, more lives could be put at risk as tornadoes will be hard to see and some people may sleep through vital warnings.

The danger for severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes may not end with Wednesday.

"It seems like at least portions of the eastern Plains into the Mississippi Valley will see severe threats on Thursday," Walker continued.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are zoning in on the corridor from central Missouri to southern Wisconsin for the greatest severe weather potential on Thursday.

All residents across the nation's midsection should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest updates as the threat zone and severity of the situation is refined.

The storm system set to trigger the midweek severe weather will first slam the West with rain, mountain snow and strong winds.

This year's severe weather season has gotten off to an extremely slow start (in terms of climatology), which the AccuWeather.com Long Range team anticipated.

The graphic above from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) shows that the preliminary tornado count so far this year is running well below the minimum value on the inflation adjusted annual tornado trend chart.

As the graphic declares, the preliminary count for 2014 has been multiplied by 0.85 to remove erroneous extra reports.

Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the SPC, told AccuWeather.com that the bars on the graphic are only estimates and do not represent any year in particular.

"[The graphic] is an attempt to define the ranges in the running annual total of U.S. tornadoes by removing the positive upward trend in reports of weak tornadoes over the past couple of decades when compared to the longer-term record," Carbin stated.

The SPC also reported that Saturday was the 153rd day without an EF-3 or stronger tornado touching down in the United States. That is the fourth longest such stretch in the last 60 years.

Listed third on the list is the 188 days from 1997, while 2004 ranks first with 249 days.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by Kristina Pydynowski, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com.

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