Severe thunderstorms are expected to impact the same northern Texas town struck by an “unprecedented tornado” that killed four and injured 10 on Wednesday.
Isolated tornadoes and very large hail around 2 inches in diameter are possible Friday afternoon and evening across an area from South Dakota and Wyoming stretching down to the Texas Panhandle. An estimated 7 million people may be affected.
The storm system is also expected to bring thunderstorms, strong winds and hail to the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles along with parts of southwest Kansas and along the New Mexico border. This risk area includes Matador, Texas, where homes and businesses were destroyed by a tornado Wednesday.
To the north, parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and northeast Colorado may also see severe thunderstorms with very large hail and wind gusts in excess of 75 mph. Isolated tornadoes are more likely in this northern risk area than in the southern risk area.
Cities to watch include Rapid City, South Dakota; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and North Platte, Nebraska.
On Saturday, about 10 million people will be at risk for severe storms across the Midwest, including areas in southern Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. Very large hail will be the main risk followed by damaging winds and a few possible tornadoes.
Des Moines, Iowa, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, could see tornadoes. Larger metro areas like Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Louis are on the fringe of the severe threat but may experience strong storms.
By Sunday, the severe storm threat is expected to shift east to include 14 million people from southwest Ohio down through northeast Arkansas, including cities like Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; and Louisville, Kentucky.
Heat alerts remain for 19 million people Friday across the southern Plains, with another day of heat index values as high as 110 to 120 degrees. The heat index is what temperatures feel like to the human body “when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature,” according to the National Weather Service.
Northern and central Texas had a brief break from the highest heat over the last couple of days, but highs will soar back into the upper 90s and the 100s across the region this weekend and into next week.
Temperatures in Dallas on Sunday may soar as high as 105 degrees with a heat index of 113. In Houston, residents can expect a high of 102 degrees early next week.
More record high temperatures are likely across Texas and Louisiana next week, especially from Tuesday into Thursday.