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Big Thunderstorms Threaten Central Plains Tonight

UPDATED 7:15 PM CDT, August 9, 2014

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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For the second consecutive day after a quite start to August, dangerous thunderstorms will rummage across Nebraska and central and northern Kansas this evening and tonight. The thunderstorms will pack destructive hail, high winds and even a few brief tornadoes.

Fueling the rapidly developing powerful thunderstorms across Nebraska this afternoon is a broad area of low pressure drifting across the western High Plains of Nebraska and Kansas. An arm of the system, a warm front, is separating hot and humid air across the central and southern Plains from cooler and drier air north of the front.

The end outcome will be several small clusters of damaging thunderstorms roaming across central and eastern Nebraska this afternoon and evening. By tonight, the clusters of thunderstorms will converge and motor into much of central and northern Kansas, while potentially sneaking into western Iowa and Missouri as well.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in place for a small part of eastern Colorado, northwestern and north-central Kansas and central Nebraska as well as for southwestern and central Kansas, including North Platte, Grand Island, and McCook, Neb., Dodge City, Hill City, Russell, and Goodland, Kan.

Other cities such as Valentine and Norfolk to Lincoln, Neb., and Garden City to Wichita, Kan., will need to keep a watchful eye to the sky for threatening weather as well this evening and tonight.

Although the chief concern initially will be hail up to golf ball-size, a transition to destructive winds up to 70 mph will be added to the mix tonight across eastern Kansas and Nebraska. If that weren`t enough, the thunderstorms will also squeeze out very heavy rain in a short time, potentially overwhelming storm drains blocked by debris and leading to areas of flash flooding. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."

Just on Friday, Nebraska was pelted by severe thunderstorms packing high winds and very large hail. Hen-egg-size hail fell near East Gates, Neb., with hail up to golf balls peppering places near Broken Bow and Cozad, Neb. Two injuries were reported in Chambers, Neb., where high winds caused an inflatable kids playhouse to collapse on Friday.

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 includes 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 in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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