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Severe Storms Target Southern Plains

UPDATED 7:45 AM CDT, July 17, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, Mark Ellinwood and James West

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The southern Plains will be at risk for dangerous thunderstorms today as a disturbance dives out of the Rockies and into Texas. Gusty winds and large hail are the main threats, with monster downpours bringing flash flooding problems as well.

An upper-level disturbance is spinning along the southwestern fringes of a large upper-level low pressure system in place across the eastern U.S. Fueled by unseasonably warm air across the West and unseasonably cool air in the East, the disturbance is producing widespread thunderstorms and downpours across northern Texas this morning.

The disturbance will continue to bend around the upper-level trough today, developing into a large thunderstorm complex across the southern Plains. The Interstate 20 and 30 corridor cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, could see damaging winds, large hail and a deluge of rain. Most of the severe weather will be focused over northern Texas from mid-afternoon into the evening.

Flash flooding will be a growing threat as this large thunderstorm complex brings 3 to 4 inches of rainfall across southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, including the greater Dallas area, Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Ark. A few locations could see 5 or 6 inches of rain from this large storm complex. Flash Flood Watches are already in effect in these locations.

On Wednesday, the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo. reported golf ball sized hail, while egg sized hail struck Hoehne, Colo.

If you live in an area that could be threatened by thunderstorms, be sure to download the mobile WeatherBug app on your smart phone. The mobile apps now include Spark Lightning Alerts, a GPS-based lightning detection feature providing you the location of the closest lightning strike, so you can Know Before the storm hits. Click here for the link to download.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather alerts in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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