A big portion of the central United States is about to be at risk for severe thunderstorms, and potentially tornadoes, as well. The storms are rolling in late this week, and continuing well into next week.
And While severe weather is expected across the southern plains for at least three to four days, severe weather patterns could even continue into June across Tornado Alley.
Tornado Alley is About to Wake Up
AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer described the severe weather outlook as the worst setup he’s seen in years. He was also quoted as saying, “Tornado Alley is certainly about to wake up!”
Ahead of the worst storms, a narrow band of thunderstorms is expected to move southeastward from southern South Dakota and northern Nebraska to Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Communities should be on alert for severe weather and flash flooding.
Over 40,000 Already Without Power
Indianapolis has already been hit by severe storms, leaving over 40,000 without power. Storms also brought hail larger than golf balls to other areas, from Danille, Illinois through Rosedale, Indiana. But many more states will be at risk as the weekend gets closer.
44 Million at Risk
The forecast is showing that at least 18 different states could be in the path of dangerous weather. Accuweather estimates that around 44 million people currently live in areas that are at risk for severe thunderstorms.
Large Hail and Violent Wind Very Likely
Large hail is likely to be produced during the strongest storms. People should be on alert, because the hailstones could cause serious injury, cause substantial property damage, or hurt or kill livestock. It is possible that some of the tornadoes might be large and violent, hitting the ground for more than a few minutes. The high wind and tornado risk is likely to extend to after dark, adding to the danger.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, or SPC, highlighted areas at risk for severe weather every day of their eight-day outlook. According to Harold Brooks, a senior scientist of the Forecast Research and Development Division at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, it’s the first time this has ever happened since the SPC became operational back in 2007.