Rounds of severe weather take aim at central U.S. into Monday

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Clusters of heavy to severe thunderstorms will sweep through the central United States into Monday, threatening to not only disrupt outdoor plans, but also inflict damage in some communities.

Cookouts over Father's Day weekend may have to be brought inside, and dads spending the holiday golfing, fishing or biking will need to keep a close watch on the sky.

"Whether storms become violent or not, all storms can pose lightning dangers for those with outdoor plans," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

Pieces of energy high in the atmosphere will stream out of the Rockies into early next week, helping to spark off stormy weather on a daily basis.

As AccuWeather predicted, the severe weather dangers began late this past week with violent storms erupting over the central Plains on Thursday and then the southern Plains on Friday.

Forecasters anticipate a broad area of the nation's midsection to endure thunderstorms at the start of the weekend, any of which have the potential to become locally heavy and damaging. Chicago, St. Louis and Oklahoma City are among the cities that can endure drenching downpours at times on Saturday.

The threat for organized severe weather, however, may focus on two main areas during Saturday afternoon and evening -- the northern and southern Plains.

Storms that erupt from north-central Nebraska through the central and eastern Dakotas later Saturday may have a greater risk of producing damaging winds and hail over a broader area when compared to the storms in the southern Plains, which are forecast to be more isolated in nature.

"Sunday may bring the most widespread threat for severe thunderstorms," said AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda.

Around 10 million Americans spanning eight states could face dangerous storms on Father's Day. The late afternoon into the overnight hours will be the times most prime for severe weather.

"Anyone spending the day outdoors on Father's Day in the Plains will certainly need to be weather aware," Sojda said.

Those outdoors can utilize AccuWeather's exclusive MinuteCast for their location to determine exactly when stormy weather will arrive.

Wind gusts within the storms late Sunday can reach an AccuWeather Local StormMax&trade of 80 mph, which can easily topple trees, power lines and 18-wheelers on an open highway. Hail, downpours and isolated tornadoes can also occur.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Dodge City, Wichita and Topeka, Kan.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Omaha and Grand Island, Neb.; Sioux City, Iowa; and Sioux Falls, S.D., are among the communities that could be rocked by violent weather as the weekend comes to a close.

With the dangers continuing into the overnight hours, it will be important for residents to have a way to be notified that severe weather is on its way, such as by keeping a cellphone on with the volume turned up or having a weather radio handy.

Where exactly the clusters of thunderstorms track during Sunday night will have implications on Monday's severe weather risk area.

At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate at the very least heavy thunderstorms to threaten a corridor from the upper Great Lakes to the southern Plains, with pockets of severe weather in-between.

Further details on timing and areas at risk will become clearer as the shorter-term severe weather threats evolve.

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