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Severe storms, flash flooding to wallop central US through Friday

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The threat for severe weather, including tornadoes and flash flooding, will expand across the central United States through the end of the week.

Systems will continue to traverse across the Plains and feed off the warmth and humidity in place, creating a favorable environment for severe thunderstorms to erupt.

Following several days of severe weather across the Plains, the threat for damaging thunderstorms will shift slightly northeastward on Wednesday.

Storms capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and heavy downpours will take aim at portions of eastern Nebraska and Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and western Indiana and Kentucky.

A smaller area of spotty severe thunderstorms could also fire near in southern Texas.

Storms could remain intense by the time they reach Chicago early on Wednesday evening, before transitioning to more of a heavy rain threat across Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota on Wednesday night.

The next round of severe weather will once again take aim at the Plains on Thursday afternoon into Friday.

"A new storm will develop across the Plains on Thursday and lead to another outbreak of severe weather," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

This outbreak of severe thunderstorms could be more widespread compared to previous days this week.

Severe storms are expected to erupt from south-central Texas northward into Nebraska and Iowa late on Thursday afternoon.

The severe threat zone will shift slightly eastward on Friday, encompassing the Arklatex and middle and lower Mississippi Valley.

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Lead Meteorologist Phil Warren is concerned that storms will produce large hail and damaging wind gusts to 70 mph as well as some tornadoes.

"The risk of tornadoes will be present with some of the strongest storms, primarily across portions of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska [late Thursday]," Warren explained.

Rathbun warned that hail could exceed 3 inches in diameter, posing a hazard to cars, structures and budding crops.

Area residents should remain aware of and heed any weather warnings. Thunderstorms can quickly erupt and become dangerous during a seemingly quiet, sunny day.

Storms can continue into the overnight hours, creating an increased danger.

Adding an additional hazard to the region will be the ongoing threat of flash flooding.

"Flash flooding will also be a major concern in locations that have already received heavy rainfall from thunderstorms earlier this week," Rathbun stated.

Locations where individual storms merge into a larger storm complex will also be at risk for flash flooding.

The threat for daily showers and thunderstorms, some turning severe, could continue right through Memorial Day weekend.