Warm weather forecast across US

Heat will fuel severe weather in the central Great Plains

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Spring is returning, as a general warming trend is expected across a large swath of the country heading into the weekend. 

CALIFORNIA SKI RESORTS GET 3 FEET OF SNOW FROM 'LATE-SEASON' STORM

Warm temperatures have shifted eastward, so areas in the 40s and 50s at the start of this week are ending in the 70s and 80s. 

Friday forecast high temperatures

Friday forecast high temperatures (Credit: Fox News)

By Saturday, nearly 60% of the country will experience above-average temperatures. 

However, that heat will fuel some severe weather in the central Great Plains Friday afternoon and evening. 

Friday severe storm threat

Friday severe storm threat (Credit: Fox News)

These storms will pose a risk for hail, tornadoes and strong damaging wind gusts. 

Very large hail in excess of 2 inches is likely from western Texas to southwestern Kansas. 

Winter weather alerts

Winter weather alerts (Credit: Fox News)

This powerful storm system does have cold air behind it and will turn into a winter storm for the northern Plains. 

Winter storm watches have been issued and up to a foot of snow is possible in the Dakotas and Montana. 

Friday fire weather outlook

Friday fire weather outlook (Credit: Fox News)

Finally, extremely dry conditions and high winds continue to plague the Southwest

Wind gusts ranging from 40-60 mph are forecast from Arizona to New Mexico and north into Colorado. 

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This plus the low humidity has caused an extreme wildfire outlook for the weekend.