Multiday severe weather event in central US to last into the weekend

More severe thunderstorms are in store for the western High Plains into the start of the weekend before a somewhat quieter weather pattern unfolds next week, AccuWeather forecasters say.

The thunderstorms will rumble across portions of nine states through Saturday, bringing locally damaging wind gusts which could stir up dust and dirt, unleash large hail, torrential downpours and even a tornado or two.

Portions of the Southwest, Rockies and the western Plains have been enduring near-daily severe thunderstorm activity over the last week and a half as storms ignite during the hotter daytime hours and diminish when temperatures drop at night. Since May 22, there have been hundreds of reports of severe weather from the Mexican to Canadian borders in more than a dozen states.

Severe weather reports received by the Storm Prediction Center from May 22 to 31.

This trend held up on Friday, as numerous thunderstorms rumbled across the Plains states. Over 120 reports of severe weather were logged nationwide, the majority of which in this region. Much like some recent days, Texas saw the worst of this activity, with storms north of Big Bend National Park producing hail as large as tennis balls, which is large enough to shatter windshields and damage roofs. Near O'Donnell, Texas, a wind gust to 83 mph was observed, the highest officially reported during the day. While much more spotty than the hail and straight-line wind hazards, 9 tornadoes were reported over the course of the day as well.

That pattern will finally begin to change as the daily risk of feisty storms begins to diminish later in the weekend, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.


One more day of severe weather is forecast for Saturday before a slight pattern change drops the chance of stronger storms in the nation's midsection beginning on Sunday.

"Texas will again be targeted by storms to start the weekend, from the western part of the state to the Hill Country, and southward toward the Rio Grande Valley" AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said. A portion of southeastern New Mexico that has been hit hard by severe weather as of late will also be included in the risk.

The biggest concerns forecasters have for the storms to start the weekend will be hail, flooding downpours and damaging winds. The AccuWeather Local StormMax™ for winds will be 90 mph. Winds of this magnitude can easily bring down trees, damaging structures and even knock over tractor-trailers.

While thunderstorms will continue to erupt daily in the Plains from Sunday into next week due to daytime heating, the amount of energy available in the atmosphere will be diminished, resulting in a lower risk of widespread severe weather. However, these storms can still produce very heavy rain in localized spots, leading to a risk of additional flash flooding, but also much needed drought relief.

Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.