40 million people under severe weather threats in the Midwest. Dozens of tornadoes reported

40 million people under severe weather threats in the Midwest. Dozens of tornadoes reported

"We'd say welcome to summer but, that streak (of the past few days of sunshine) will end today," the National Weather Service warned Kansas City.

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“We’d say welcome to summer but, that streak (of the past few days of sunshine) will end today,” the National Weather Service warned Kansas City.

“These storms will also produce periods of heavy rain that will once again saturate soils & set the stage for increased flood potential this coming Tue when the next round of heavy rain moves in,” the weather service predicted for Missouri.

That’s right, there’s another round.

There are “better chances” for damaging winds and golf-ball-sized hail Saturday afternoon and evening, the weather service said. In eastern Iowa, dense fog is possible as strong thunderstorms prepare to hit the region.

The threat of severe storms will spread across a vast area Saturday, including Texas to southern Minnesota, CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said. The greatest threats will be across central to northern Texas toward Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Over 40 million Americans are under the threat of severe weather today and an additional 13 million are under threat for Sunday, Van Dam said.

This is peak tornado season

The plains have already been pounded by strong winds — there have been 30 tornado reports (one of which was in western Texas), 62 hail reports and 17 win reports in the past 24 hours, Van Dam said.

The Storm Prediction Center warned of possible isolated tornado risks across central and eastern Nebraska and central and northern Kansas – for which the center issued a tornado watch. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were likely.

This is peak tornado season, Van Dam said, “with an average of 268 tornadoes countrywide during the month of May.”

Flood threat still high

Flood threats across the central plains will remain high through next week, Van Dam said, with rainfall totals ranging from one to five inches.

“The heavy rain will impact areas that have received significant amounts or rain within the past several weeks,” Van Dam said. “The grounds remains very saturated and may elevate the flood threat.”

Flash flooding and heavy rainfall are possible across central Texas, lasting through the early Saturday morning hours, the Weather Prediction Center said.

Mississippi River broke flood records

The Mississippi River has broken records for some of the longest-lasting floods in years. The river has been above flood stage for 133 days straight at Natchez, 90 days at Vicksburg and 89 at Greenville, the weather service said.

Early May, the Mississippi broke its July 9, 1993 record, during the “Great Flood of 1993” when much of it was flooded from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico after heavy rainfall, CNN affiliate WQAD reported.
During that time, the height of the flood gauge at Rock Island, Illinois, was at 22.63 feet. Earlier this month, its level reached 22.64 feet, WQAD said.



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