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Oklahoma and Kansas at High Risk of Extreme Storms and Tornadoes

More than 8 million people were under a heightened risk of severe thunderstorms that are likely to bring large hail, damaging winds and powerful tornadoes across parts of the Southern and Central Plains on Monday, weather officials said.

“The biggest area of concern is definitely Oklahoma and portions of south-central Kansas,” Kelly Butler, a meteorologist in the Wichita office of the National Weather Service, said on Sunday.

“There is a chance for strong to potentially long-track tornadoes, including large to giant hail, baseball- and softball-size,” she said.

“Anybody in the affected areas should have a safety plan,” she said.

The Weather Service described the environment in southern Kansas and into Oklahoma as being “similar to some past higher-end and even historic severe weather and tornado events.”

Showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain will develop over parts of eastern Kansas and Nebraska and western Iowa and Missouri as a front moves out of the Rockies, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

The center said there was a moderate risk — a level four out of five — of severe thunderstorms over parts of the Central and Southern Plains on Monday into Tuesday morning.

Many of the storms will be severe and could produce damaging winds and strong tornadoes across south-central Kansas, forecasters said. Hazards associated with these thunderstorms include frequent lightning, wind gusts up to 74 miles per hour and hail of two inches or more in diameter, the center said.

The National Weather Service office in Wichita, Kan., warned of “bursts of moderate to heavy rain” through Monday morning.

The Weather Prediction Center also warned of a slight risk of excessive rainfall over parts of the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley from Monday into Tuesday morning. The heavy rain could produce flash flooding in urban areas, roads, small streams and low-lying areas.



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