Fox News Weather Center

South Dakota to Texas: Severe Threat Ramps Up

Thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will push through the Plains during the weekend and into Monday.

Warm and humid air will filter into the northern portion of the Plains, starting on Saturday, creating a rather big contrast to the cool air diving into the Northwest.

The system that has formed along this difference will result in showers and thunderstorms, some of which will be strong or severe.

Through daytime heating and rising humidity, the air will become unstable enough for thunderstorms to turn severe in the afternoon.

Senior Vice President of Accuweather Enterprise Solutions and Severe Weather Expert Mike Smith has been assessing the severe threat this weekend, looking at hail, wind and tornado potential.

"This is one of those rare cases where all three are real threats. There will be three-inch-plus hailstones with some of these storms along with strong thunderstorm-generated, straight-line winds and tornadoes."

Smith also mentioned that the greatest threat Saturday will be in "Kansas and Nebraska over the central and western parts of both states, excluding the Nebraska Panhandle."

With the progression of the storm eastward, the area most at risk Sunday will be eastern South Dakota and Nebraska to the Kansas and Missouri border.

There is also a risk for severe weather into Oklahoma and Texas through the weekend.

But the threat for severe weather does not end with the start of the workweek. Monday also looks to be a day of severe weather across the Plains.

Once again, the weather pattern will be potent enough for to the development of severe thunderstorms that could produce hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

When asked why this storm was expected to bring such severe weather, Smith explained how "the instability, tendency of the air to rise to form thunderstorms, is forecast to be extraordinarily high."

The unstable air combined with the low pressure is what "allows very strong storms to form," Smith said. "Mother Nature does the rest."