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Fox News Weather Center

Holiday Weekend to Bring Severe Storms to Plains

Showers and thunderstorms will become more widespread across the Plains this weekend, threatening to foil holiday festivities from Texas to Minnesota.

Anyone planning to celebrate the unofficial start to summer outside should prepare for the stormy weather.

Both Saturday and Sunday will feature showers and thunderstorms across much of the nation's midsection with severe thunderstorms focusing on different portions of the region each day.

The worst of Saturday's storms are expected to develop over western Texas and eastern New Mexico with a few of these strong storms possibly making their way into western Kansas.

Large hail, damaging wind gusts and flooding downpours will be the biggest threats with these storms; however, a few brief tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

Keep in mind that any thunderstorm that develops will be accompanied by lightning.

If you are outside and hear thunder, you are close enough to be stuck by lightning and should seek shelter until the storm has passed.

A second area of severe weather is expected to develop on Sunday as a cold front swings across the northern Plains.

Similar to Saturday, storms on Sunday will be capable of producing hail as large as baseballs, wind gusts past 60 mph, and torrential downpours that can spark flash flooding.

Yet another day of stormy weather is on tap for Monday for much of the Plains, continuing the threat of severe weather into Memorial Day.

Despite some of the dangers associated with these storms, they will bring much-needed rainfall to portions of the Plains currently experiencing an extreme drought.

Several inches of rain are possible over the southern Plains through the holiday weekend where showers and thunderstorms are seen several days in a row.

As much as this will help lessen the severity of the drought in the short term, much more rain is needed over a longer period of time to have a significant impact on the extreme drought.