Kansas and Missouri could see a severe weather outbreak over the next few days. The storms then move across the central United States next week, bringing the threat of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds.
The most significant target zone is on the afternoon and evening of Friday, May 17, from South Dakota through Kansas down through Texas.
Up to 50 million people could be affected based on areas at risk for severe weather, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
The system is expected to gain strength Saturday as the storm shifts slightly east moving across the Kansas City region, with the most significant threat from the Plains to the Gulf Coast.
The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo. says the forecast is difficult saying, “A few strong storms producing hail cannot be ruled out between midnight and sunrise Saturday. The forecast for the remainder of Saturday remains complex.”
It will likely hit populated cities such as Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City and Kansas City. Hail could exceed the size of a tennis ball or even a baseball.
On Sunday, the storm likely will continue east, targeting Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
On the heels of this system, yet another potential significant storm event will appear early next week for portions of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley.
The storm system is the same one that led to torrential rains to California earlier this week.
The most significant threat for tornadoes will be across central Nebraska on Friday night but Kansas and Missouri are not out of danger on Saturday for tornado weather.