Though strong storms have been ravaging the central Plains since midweek, the threat of severe weather will continue into the weekend.
While the areas taking the brunt of the storms have shifted slightly each day, a slow-moving cold front clashing with heat and humidity has kept the severe threat prevalent in the region since Wednesday.
“An area spanning northern Missouri to central Kansas received several inches of rain on Thursday night when thunderstorms rapidly developed and sagged very slowly southward,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.
“On Friday, storms that erupt will pose a similar threat of heavy, flooding rainfall.”
Luckily, storms are not expected to spark in northern Missouri or northern Illinois, where excessive rainfall from storms has caused locally devastating flooding this week.
However, similarly slow-moving thunderstorm activity is expected from the western Red River Valley of Texas through southern Illinois into Saturday, heightening the risk of flooding in these areas.
“In addition, storms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph in spots and even a few isolated tornadoes, especially from southwestern Missouri through central Oklahoma,” warned Elliott.
Residents should be careful to secure any outdoor furniture or move it indoors ahead of any storms to limit property damage.
“Seeking shelter in an interior room or basement is the best security measure to minimize the risk of life-threatening injuries when damaging winds or tornadoes threaten,” Elliott elaborated.
Those planning to hit the road on Friday or Friday night - whether for a quick commute or a road trip - should take care to check local watches and warnings before heading out.
“Motorists should be prepared for rapid reduction in visibility and reduce speeds when traveling through heavy thunderstorms, as even the slightest bit of water on roadways can increase the risk for hydroplaning,” warned Elliott.
Visual clues often tell of a storm’s approach during the day, giving those in the line of fire plenty of time to pull over and find shelter, or to close windows at home and move away from outside walls.
However, this luxury isn’t afforded at nighttime.
“Residents living from Indianapolis to St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, to Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas, should have a weather radio or charged cell phone with alerts enabled handy through Friday night,” said Elliott.
While dry weather will be hard to come by this weekend in this area of the country, severe weather of this caliber is not expected to return.