Thunderstorms will ramp up over the central United States and result in a multiple-day severe weather outbreak from this weekend into early next week.
A 1,300-mile stretch will be at risk for severe weather, spanning from Montana and North Dakota to Texas, into next week.
Warm and humid air will spread northward ahead of a large storm system advancing slowly across the Western states. Portions of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest could experience the first round of severe weather of the season.
Some of the storms will remain severe after dark, adding to the danger.
"During most days, the threat for severe thunderstorms will be greatest over the central and southern Plains," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos.
This particular outbreak will bring all facets of severe weather ranging from large hail and frequent lightning strikes to flash flooding, strong wind gusts and isolated tornadoes.
The first round of severe thunderstorms during this multiple-day outbreak will focus over the High Plains from Montana to northwestern Texas during late Saturday afternoon and evening.
The severe weather threat will crawl eastward Sunday through Tuesday.
During Sunday, there will be the potential for more than a couple of isolated tornadoes over a several-state area.
"A moderate risk of tornadoes will extend from the northern Texas Panhandle to west-central Nebraska during late Sunday afternoon and evening," Avalos said.
During early next week, the greatest concentration of severe thunderstorms may focus from north-central Texas to eastern Nebraska and southern Iowa. However, there will be the possibility of heavy to locally severe thunderstorms from parts of the Dakotas to Minnesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin.
People over the Plains will need to monitor the weather situation. Those spending time outdoors or traveling on area highways should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions. As storms approach, pull to a safe location along side of the road or move indoors to the lowest interior room.
A flood threat will exist in any heavy downpours, including in thunderstorms that do not produce severe weather. Flooding is one of the leading causes of fatalities in the United States on an annual basis. Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
While the number of preliminary reports of tornadoes of 467 for 2016 through May 19 has been lagging behind the 10-year average of 659, the number of preliminary reports of hail and high winds is about on pace with 2,315 and 2,809, respectively. The actual number of tornadoes, hail and wind incidents may change from the preliminary reports, pending further investigation.