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Fox News Weather Center

Plains Flash Flooding, Severe Storms Memorial Weekend

Downpours and strong storms from portions of the Plains and Texas to part of the Midwest have the potential to disrupt outdoor activities ranging from memorial services and parades to picnics, barbeques and ball games.

Repeating Downpours

Several rounds of downpours and strong thunderstorms will sweep from portions of the Dakotas to Iowa, northern Missouri and Illinois through the Memorial Weekend.

Another trouble spot into Sunday will be the swath from central Texas to central Arkansas, due to the slow-moving nature of the thunderstorms.

While most storms tend to occur during the afternoon and evening hours, this part of the weather pattern can yield thundery rains at any time of the day and night.

In addition to the risk of lightning strikes clustering around a local area, there is the potential for flash and urban flooding.

The weather pattern has the potential to bring six inches or more of rain to some communities through the weekend. The rainfall can be enough to lead to poor drainage area flooding, overwhelmed storm drains and rapid rises on small streams.

States that can experience several rounds of torrential downpours include central and eastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, eastern Nebraska, much of Iowa, northern Missouri and northern and central Illinois.

Seek shelter as the storms approach in a vehicle or building. Golf carts, tents, gazebos and picnic pavilions do not offer adequate protection from lightning. Avoid setting up camp in low lying areas along a small stream. During a downpour small streams can rise several feet in a matter of minutes.

Do not drive through flooded roadways. Flooding less than knee high can push your vehicle into deep water.

Damaging Storm Risk

A zone of widely separated, yet locally damaging thunderstorms will reach from eastern Montana and western North Dakota, southward to West Texas and eastern New Mexico each day through Memorial Day.

The majority of these storms would occur between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time.

The storms in the narrow swath have the potential to bring large hail, damaging wind gusts, frequent lightning strikes and a short-lived tornado.

Memorial Day Severe Weather

During Monday, several ingredients will come together to enhance thunderstorms in the vicinity of eastern Nebraska, northeastern Kansas, southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri.

Metro areas from Kansas City, Mo. to Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, and others could be hit by one or more of these storms on Memorial Day.

In addition to the risk for large hail, strong wind gusts and power outages, a couple of tornadoes could be produced.

Severe Weather Outbreak Wednesday to Friday

It is looking more likely that there will be an outbreak of severe weather beginning Wednesday over the High Plains, spreading slowly eastward over the lower Plains and Mississippi Valley Thursday into Friday.

The outbreak would feather the full spectrum of severe weather and could include a number of tornadoes.

Additional details will follow early next week on AccuWeather.com.