Millions from Texas to Kansas to Illinois and central Michigan are at risk for severe thunderstorms, including some tornadoes, on this Palm Sunday and Sunday night.
A complex severe weather situation with several bands of violent thunderstorms is evolving.
At some point Sunday through Sunday night, places from central and northeastern Texas, central and eastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, Missouri, southeastern Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi will be threatened by strong to severe thunderstorms.
The danger also stretches northeastward to the central Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
Eastern Kansas, the eastern half of Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, northwestern Arkansas and western Missouri are at greatest risk of the most dangerous thunderstorms on this Palm Sunday.
Within this zone are Dallas; Oklahoma City, McAlester and Tulsa, Okla.; Chanute, Kan.; Joplin Mo.; and Fayetteville, Ark.
The dangerous thunderstorms will cross this area Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening with damaging winds and hail, along with some destructive tornadoes.
"Even if very few tornadoes develop with the severe weather event on Sunday, some of the storms packing high winds and hail have the potential to cause property damage and pose a safety risk," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"A single tornado striking a populated area can cause great destruction, multiple injuries and loss of life."
Palm Sunday has already started with hail-producing thunderstorms tracking from near Omaha, Neb., and St. Louis to Chicago.
Additional thunderstorms will target this zone--which includes Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa, and Peoria, Ill.--through the afternoon and evening with hail, flooding downpours and damaging winds the main concerns.
A thunderstorm earlier Sunday slammed an area near Winfield, Mo., which is located northwest of St. Louis, with quarter-sized hail.
Also Sunday afternoon, strong thunderstorms will develop across central and eastern Missouri, western and central Arkansas and eastern Texas (from Tyler to Austin).
This line will press eastward to Illinois and the lower Mississippi River through Sunday night, producing hail, damaging winds and flooding downpours. Isolated tornadoes are also a concern.
Shreveport, La., Little Rock and Jonesboro, Ark., and St. Louis are among the communities in the path of these thunderstorms.
Through Sunday night, the flood threat from downpours across the Plains and Mississippi Valley is greatest where recent rain and thunderstorms have left the ground saturated.
The severe weather threat will wane in the predawn hours of Monday as the thunderstorms track eastward across the middle and lower Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.
Regardless, residents should remain alert for flooding downpours and locally severe thunderstorms with hail and damaging winds. An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.
The severe weather danger will shift to the Deep South on Monday, then the eastern Carolinas and the southern Delmarva Peninsula on Tuesday as noticeably colder air plunges across the Plains.