NORMAN, Okla. – There's a slight chance that storms carrying large hail and tornadoes could move through parts of the Great Plains on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said, a path stretching through Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Texas.
It's too early to tell how many storms could flare up or in which region, according to Richard Thompson at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, noting that the storms will likely be widely spaced apart.
"It's possible the hail at the very biggest could be tennis ball- or baseball-sized but that would be very isolated," Thompson said. "If everything worked the right way, there could be a tornado."
The weather service says there is a 5 percent chance for tornadoes in the region, a 15 percent chance for severe hail and a 15 percent chance of 50 mph or stronger winds.
The severe weather is expected to last from about 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, though storms are projected daily throughout the region through Saturday.
"This is the first of potentially several days of a severe weather risk," Thompson said. "There could be some pretty heavy rain overnight and eventually flooding could be a concern."
Areas of central Oklahoma saw heavy rainfall and some flooding overnight and early Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Kurtz said. Nearly 4 inches of rain fell in Norman, where the Oklahoma Department of Transportation shut down several on-ramps to Interstate 35. Construction crews worked Wednesday morning to pump water from the area and plan to install a temporary drain.
"People just really need to stay weather aware, have a plan and understand that severe storms are possible across portions of the southern plains almost daily through Saturday," Kurtz said.