Fox News Weather Center

Severe storms to batter US High Plains with large hail, flooding through the weekend


Rounds of severe thunderstorms will raise the risk of property damage and flash flooding across a portion of the central United States through Saturday night.

Several weak systems will emerge from the Rockies and give a boost to thunderstorm development over the Plains states.

On Thursday, thunderstorms produced hail as large as softballs along a portion of Interstate 70 in western Kansas.

During Friday afternoon and evening, thunderstorms will continue to carry a high risk of unleashing very large hail from southeastern Wyoming and the western panhandle of Nebraska through eastern Colorado and into the Texas Panhandle.

Friday severe 8.11 AM


Hail this extreme can easily smash windows, dent car exteriors and damage siding. Damaging wind gusts to 70 mph and torrential downpours will pose further dangers to the area.

The danger of severe thunderstorms will continue right into the start of the weekend, accompanied by a mounting flood threat.

Thunderstorms will cluster around and to the north of the Red River Valley Saturday and Saturday night.

“At this time, the I-40 corridor across Oklahoma into western Arkansas seem to be targeted for the heaviest rainfall over the weekend,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Koochel said.

“Heavy rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour at times will cause flash flooding in some communities,” he added.

The enhanced threat for flooding includes some larger cities, namely Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Amarillo and Wichita Falls, Texas.

The northern suburbs of Dallas will be brushed by the heaviest rainfall, while little to no rain may occur downtown.

Southern Plains downpours 8.11 AM


Individuals with plans to travel across the Plains along stretches of interstates 35, 40, 44, 70, 80 and 90 should be aware of the threat for adverse weather to affect a portion of their trip.

Some roads, especially those that drain poorly and are low-lying, could be impassable due to high water.

“Widespread rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, with localized areas that see more persistent thunderstorm activity receiving up to 6 inches,” Koochel said.

This amount of rainfall will easily run off the already saturated soil, causing rises on small streams and rivers.

The threat for severe thunderstorms will be lower than the threat for flooding, but will not be zero. Some of the strongest thunderstorms could produce hail and damaging winds.

The core of heaviest rainfall will shift toward the lower Mississippi Valley by the end of the weekend.

Downpours may become even more frequent across the South as the storm continues to sweep eastward early next week.