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Omaha, Des Moines Face High Mother's Day Tornado Risk

An outbreak of tornadoes will put lives and property across the Plains at risk this Mother's Day with the tornado threat greatest in the vicinity of eastern Nebraska and Iowa.

Residents and visitors are urged to closely monitor media outlets and weather radios amid Mother's Day festivities and events this Sunday and take action when vital warnings are issued.

"The highest risk of tornadoes should extend from southeastern Nebraska through central Iowa on Sunday afternoon and evening, including the cities of Omaha and Des Moines," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Dan DePodwin.

"Some of these tornadoes could be strong and long-lasting."

The tornado outbreak danger also encompasses Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as far northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri, home to the city of St. Joseph.

"Plenty of spin in the atmosphere in this area, combined with a surge of moisture will make conditions ripe for tornadoes," DePodwin continued.

In addition to tornadoes, the strongest thunderstorms that erupt later on Sunday will produce damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning and flooding downpours.

The danger for severe weather on Sunday afternoon and night is not just confined to the central Plains, but also stretches southward to west-central Texas and northeastward to southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Just a handful of the cities in the path of these storms include Chicago; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; Oklahoma City and areas just west of Dallas.

"[South of the highest tornado risk area], the main threat will be damaging winds and hail across Kansas southward to Texas," added DePodwin.

Anyone planning to have dinner on the patio of their favorite restaurant or cooking out on the grill may want to keep an eye to the sky.

If you find yourself in the path of one of these storms, you should take shelter until the storm has passed.

The threat of severe thunderstorms will carry over into the new week with Monday's storms set to affect another large area, stretching from southern Wisconsin to central and eastern Texas.

Travel delays should be anticipated for those in this large area as storms continue to produce large hail and damaging winds.

Fortunately, the tornado threat does not appear to be as high on Monday when compared to Sunday. However, a few brief twisters may still spin up with the strongest storms.

Heading into Tuesday and Wednesday, the system responsible for the severe weather will begin to weaken as it lifts over the Great Lakes.

As it does this, it will reduce the probability of severe thunderstorm development. However, storms from Michigan to the coast of Texas could still produce gusty winds and flooding downpours.

Travel delays are still likely due to the storms through midweek for those on the roadways and at the airport in Detroit; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Louisville, Kentucky; Little Rock, Arkansas; Dallas and Houston, Texas.

AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski contributed to the content of this story.