Tornadoes, hail and powerful winds eyeing the central US early this week

A powerful storm that brought a late-season round of rain and snow to California will increase the risk for severe thunderstorms across a wide swath of the central United States early this week. AccuWeather meteorologists warn that the severe weather threat includes the potential for tornadoes, large hail, powerful wind gusts and flooding rainfall.

Temperatures soared to near-record highs this past weekend across the Plains ahead of the approaching storm early this week. The combination of warmth, increasing humidity, and jet stream energy will trigger explosive thunderstorm development across the Great Plains, beginning Monday evening and continuing on Tuesday in the Mississippi Valley.

Severe thunderstorms rolled across the Plains Monday night, bringing reports of hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes from South Dakota to western Texas.

As the storm and its trailing cold front surge eastward into the day on Tuesday, the severe weather threat zone will shift right along with it.

Spanning from northern Arkansas into the western Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, another round of potentially life-threatening thunderstorms is expected to track across the nation's midsection.

Hail, damaging wind gusts and even a few tornadoes are possible in places like St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Little Rock, Arkansas, and Des Moines, Iowa, to name a few major cities.

As the storm draws moisture northward, a corridor of heavy rain is expected across the central and northern Plains and the Upper Midwest through Tuesday night. The potential for minor flooding, fieldwork delays and travel issues is expected in places like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and surrounding rural communities.

The severe thunderstorm risk will continue into midweek across portions of the Midwest, focusing over the Ohio Valley to parts of West Virginia and Virginia. Although the risk may not be quite as high as in previous days, the strongest of thunderstorms could still feature damaging wind gusts, torrential downpours, hail and a few tornadoes.

AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to keep a close eye on the evolution of this storm and the associated severe weather risks.

The storm will also feature powerful wind gusts across the Plains and Midwest into Tuesday night as it progresses. Not only will winds in place of thunderstorms be strong enough to break tree limbs and trigger sporadic power outages, but property damage, vehicle rollovers and even wildfires could be triggered where the landscape remains dry.

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