The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for severe weather from Kansas to Iowa this afternoon, as they anticipate strong supercells to develop. These storms will be capable of producing hail larger than baseballs, damaging winds, and possibly a couple of tornadoes.
On a scale measuring the threat for severe weather from 1 to 5, a moderate risk for severe weather is a 4 out of 5.
As of 12:00PM CDT, there were no thunderstorms in the area as of yet, but as the clouds break and daytime heating takes its toll, storms should quickly begin to fire across the moderate risk area.
The risk for severe weather extends well beyond the moderate risk area, which is just a "bullseye" where forecasters expect the greatest opportunity for severe weather to occur. The threat for hail larger than golf balls is extensive across the Plains states, ranging from the Texas Panhandle to Nebraska.
Early on in the outbreak, the storms will be capable of sustaining tornadoes, especially across parts of Nebraska and Kansas.
And as we see so many times during severe weather events, as the storms mature and the evening wears on, they will begin to merge into squall lines and the severe weather threat will transition over to damaging winds, especially across eastern parts of the risk zone.
Overall, it's nothing abnormal for this time of year and folks in the central Plains are more than capable of handling severe weather outbreaks even more intense than the one expected today. Nonetheless, hail that large can do some serious damage and threaten your safety if you're caught outside, driving, or near windows when it falls. Think twice before heading out today and keep checking the forecasts if you're under the gun.
[Images via SPC and GOES]