Dangerous thunderstorms and flash flooding will focus on portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas on Friday.
"While a major outbreak appears unlikely, the full spectrum of severe weather can occur with the storms ranging from large hail and damaging wind gusts to flooding downpours, frequent lightning strikes and a few tornadoes," according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.
The severe weather event will begin as a complex of drenching to locally severe thunderstorms in portions of northwestern Texas and western Oklahoma during Thursday night. These storms will carry the risk of large hail and flash flooding.
The complex will then begin to push eastward and broaden on Friday and Friday night.
The greatest risk for tornadoes will be along portions of the Red and Arkansas river valleys during Friday afternoon and evening.
"The extent of intense storms capable of producing tornadoes will be dependent on the amount of sunshine on Friday," Walker said. "A limited amount of sunshine could limit the development of tornadoes, very large hail and high wind gusts."
Cities at risk for severe weather include Oklahoma City and Lawton, Oklahoma; Dallas, Wichita Falls and Paris, Texas; and Fort Smith, Arkansas; and perhaps Little Rock, Arkansas. As the storms approach the major airports, airline delays will mount.
"Farther north, there will be an elevated risk for flash flooding across southeastern Kansas, north-central and northeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
The flooding will be possible even though some areas are experiencing long-term dry conditions.
Cities at risk for flash flooding include Independence, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Springfield, Missouri.
A few inches of rain can fall in as many hours, which will quickly run off into streams. Motorists will need to allow extra time for their drive due to excess water on the roads.
When spending time outdoors or on the road, people will need to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions and monitor severe weather bulletins as they are issued.
Seek shelter indoors as soon as thunder roars. Never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway.
On Saturday, the threat for severe weather, including isolated tornadoes, will focus over the lower Mississippi Valley and part of the Tennessee Valley as the storm system moves eastward.