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Fox News Weather Center

Severe Weather Lull to End on Plains This Week

The unusual lull in severe weather across the United States will come to an end this week with the Plains being threatened.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has only issued four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches so far this year. None of the tornado watches were in effect in March.

Four tornado watches are less than 10 percent of the typical number of 52 tornado watches issued by mid-March, stated the SPC.

Unfortunately, the lack of widespread severe weather threatening lives and property will come to an end during this first full week of spring.

After a few isolated stronger thunderstorms rattle the central Gulf Coast on Sunday, the severe weather danger will progressively increase Monday night through Tuesday across the south-central Plains.

Stronger thunderstorms will begin erupting across central and eastern Kansas Monday evening before spreading to northwestern Missouri overnight. This includes Topeka and Wichita, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

"The main threat with these storms will be large hail and cloud-to-ground lightning, with an outside chance for wind gusts over 50 mph," AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Lead Meteorologist Eddie Walker said.

The potential for a more organized severe weather event will unfold Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night from northeastern Oklahoma to central Missouri.

Muskogee, Oklahoma; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Springfield, Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri, lie in Tuesday's threat zone.

Walker is concerned for the strongest thunderstorms on Tuesday to produce wind gusts over 60 mph, hail, heavy rainfall and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. Such winds could cause tree damage, power outages and dangerous cross-winds for semi-trucks.

Residents are reminded to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. You are then close enough to be struck by lightning.

"A low risk for tornadoes does exist with these storms as well, mainly for Tuesday late afternoon and evening," added Walker.

The severe weather danger will wane overnight Tuesday with the loss of daytime heating, but AccuWeather.com meteorologists will be monitoring the potential for another round of intense thunderstorms to erupt in the vicinity of eastern Oklahoma on Wednesday.