Tennis Ball Size Hail, Tornadoes Possible in Central Plains Today

A developing low pressure system over southern Kansas is serving as the catalyst for a severe weather outbreak across the central Plains states today, including the risk for very large hail up to the size of tennis balls, damaging winds of 70 MPH, and possibly a few tornadoes.

Tennis Ball Size Hail, Tornadoes Possible in Central Plains Today

A dry line — a sharp boundary that separates dry air to the west and moist, unstable air to its east — is located over parts of western Oklahoma and central Texas right now, and this boundary will serve as the focus for supercell thunderstorm development this afternoon.

The event will start out with supercells that carry the risk of very large hail (possibly tennis ball size), tornadoes, and damaging winds through the mid- to late-afternoon hours. As the evening progresses, the supercells will merge into a line of severe thunderstorms, at which point the main severe threat will transition over to damaging winds.

Tennis Ball Size Hail, Tornadoes Possible in Central Plains Today

The line of damaging wind-producing thunderstorms will move east through the late evening and nighttime hours, with the largest risk for severe winds occurring pretty much along the Mississippi River Valley from Baton Rouge to Springfield, Illinois.

This outbreak won't be the worst, but any severe weather is dangerous if you're not prepared. Hail this large is especially dangerous if you're caught outside, in a vehicle, or in a building with a flimsy roof.

Stay safe.

[Images via SimuAWIPS and SPC]