Fox News Weather Center

Dangerous thunderstorms to rattle central, southern US into the weekend

Damaging and drenching thunderstorms will press eastward across the central and southern United States through Saturday.

The first round of severe weather erupted over south-central Nebraska, western Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles on Thursday evening.

Two more rounds of severe weather will follow into Saturday night, with the threat for dangerous thunderstorms shifting slightly farther east each day.

After a lull in severe weather early Friday, thunderstorms will be reignited as warm, unstable air builds to the east of a storm sweeping across the Plains.

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During Friday afternoon and evening, the risk of violent storms will extend from eastern Kansas and western Missouri to northeastern Texas and western Louisiana, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

All modes of severe weather will be possible, including damaging straight-line wind gusts, large hail, localized flash flooding and even isolated tornadoes.

Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Tyler, Texas; will be near where the thunderstorms initiate Friday afternoon.

“The dangerous and potentially damaging storms will press toward the Mississippi River during the overnight hours on Friday,” Sosnowski said.

Little Rock, Arkansas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; and perhaps St. Louis will face the line of thunderstorms during Friday evening and Friday night.

The severe threat will mainly transition to damaging winds and flash flooding into Saturday morning.

Residents should keep their cell phones on with the volume up or utilize a weather radio to stay aware of severe weather warnings long after heading to bed.

Similar to Friday, a break in the severe weather is anticipated on Saturday morning before the thunderstorms re-fire during the afternoon hours from the central Gulf Coast to the mid-Mississippi Valley.

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Residents from St. Louis to Paducah, Kentucky; Tupelo, Mississippi; New Orleans and Nashville, Tennessee; could have outdoor plans cut short by rain and thunderstorms.

At the first rumble of thunder or sight of lightning, seek shelter indoors to avoid a life-threatening situation.

Motorists along stretches of interstates 10, 20, 40 and 55 should be on alert for ponding of water on roadways and slow travel due to torrential downpours.

The next threat for severe weather will target the central Plains once again to end the weekend, with additional rounds of dangerous thunderstorms in store into early April.