Rain chances possible starting middle of next week

Oklahoma and Kansas at risk for tornadoes this weekend

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The 4 Warn Storm Team is warning of a possible tornado outbreak in the Midwest this weekend, with Kansas and Oklahoma seen at particular risk this weekend.

Atmospheric conditions will be similar to those that caused severe storms in parts of the Midwest and Southeast in early March that killed more than 50 people, said Steve Weiss, science support branch chief for the National Storm Prediction Center.

Conditions favor strong thunderstorms in Kansas and Oklahoma Saturday, with a few “supercell” storms with rotating updrafts, Weiss said. “The potential is that some of the supercells could be long-lived, so if they produce tornadoes they could be on the ground for a while,” Weiss said.

Forecasters say the storms could start Saturday afternoon into the early evening and continue after dark, when such storms can be the most dangerous.

“This is going to be a very bad outbreak of severe weather for folks in the Plains,” said Henry Margusity, AccuWeather.com severe weather expert, on his blog Friday.

Storms could impact heavily populated areas such as Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Wichita and Topeka, Kansas, Weiss said.

Other areas that could be hit by severe thunderstorms Saturday include parts of Texas into Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Missouri, Weiss said.