Concern is mounting for a significant severe weather event to threaten the south-central United States later next week.
The lull in severe weather this weekend should come to an end when a few violent thunderstorms target Oklahoma and Missouri later on Tuesday.
However, residents could be faced with a more widespread severe weather danger starting on Thursday as a potent storm emerges from the Rockies.
“As the storm moves east, it will interact with warm and muggy conditions across the eastern Texas Panhandle, central Oklahoma and southern Kansas,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Richard Schraeger.
“This will provide a conducive environment for thunderstorms to develop by Thursday afternoon across these areas.”
Schraeger expects the storms to develop on the eastern extent of the Texas Panhandle and become stronger as they progress eastward.
That would put communities such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton, Oklahoma, and Wichita, Kansas, at risk for violent thunderstorms. The severe weather risk may also erupt southward in Dallas, Wichita Falls and Waco, Texas.
The impending storm has the potential to yield an outbreak of damaging thunderstorms.
“While the tornado threat will be possible, the main concern will be damaging winds,” Schraeger said. "Winds above the surface will be stronger than normal, so the thunderstorms can bring those winds to the surface and lead to widespread straight-line wind damage."
Property damage, downed trees and power outages could result. The winds may overturn high-profile vehicles planning to travel stretches of interstates 35 and 44.
The strongest thunderstorms could also be capable of producing blinding and flooding downpours, as well as hail.
The threat zone may also expand to St. Louis, Little Rock and Shreveport, Louisiana, through the end of the week as the storm tracks eastward.
A slower track of the storm would heighten the flood danger.
If the storm emerges onto the Plains farther to the north or south than latest indications, the severe weather zone will also shift in that direction.
Before reaching the Plains, the storm will spread snow over the Rocky Mountains and kick up strong winds, blowing dust and the fire danger over the Desert Southwest.
Soaking rain will then spread onto the Plains, north of the severe weather.
Residents of the South Central states may not be able to let their guard down following the late-week threat. It is possible that another storm targets the region with more severe weather to start the weekend.