Weather and Natural Disasters

Severe Storms: Threat of Tornadoes, Large Hail Intensifies for South and Plains

Cassandra Vinograd

The wacky weather that slammed the South this week is expected to get worse on Friday, upping the chances of tornadoes and severe storms for the Gulf Coast states into the central Plains.

The south and parts of the Plains have been hammered by large hail, severe thunderstorms, at least one confirmed tornado and heavy rainfall over the past few days.

The bad bout of weather is expected to intensify on Friday — with the potential of "very large" hail, damaging winds and twisters, according to the National Weather Service.

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"Severe thunderstorms are likely this afternoon into tonight across the central and southern Plains," it warned. "This will include the risk for supercells capable of producing very large hail and perhaps a few strong tornadoes, mainly across parts of central Kansas, as well as parts of northeast Texas."

The Weather Channel said a vast swathe of the U.S. will be in the path of Friday's severe storms: from Kansas, southern Nebraska and Missouri to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and western Alabama. Some storms could bring hail 2 inches or larger in diameter, with the most severe weather likely to be concentrated around eastern Kansas and parts of Texas.

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The storm system is expected to continue east on Saturday with severe weather looming over Mississippi, the Tennessee Valley and parts of the Southeast.

On Sunday and Monday, yet another weather system could hit parts of the southern Plains, Texas and Oklahoma that were already battered by severe weather earlier this week.