Central US faces risk of severe weather Wednesday

Large hail is expected to be the biggest threat facing people in the Midwest.
Rain hitting windshield.
Posted at 11:32 AM, Apr 18, 2023

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Centersaid more than 5 million Americans face a slight risk of severe weather on Wednesday as a cold front sweeps through the middle of the U.S.

Government forecasters say storms will develop from Iowa to Oklahoma on Wednesday, with large hail being the biggest threat. Tornadoes cannot be ruled out, although the risk appears to be lower than when the region was struck by several rounds of severe weather several weeks ago. 

The instability comes as temperatures have swung wildly in parts of the Midwest ahead of the front. Omaha, Nebraska, is expected to reach the upper 70s on Wednesday, days after the afternoon high barely reached the 40s. 

The Storm Prediction Center said dew points will reach the low 60s, allowing enough instability for storms to fire up in the afternoon Wednesday. 

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After the storms die out overnight Wednesday, another round of storms is expected to form across Arkansas and eastern Texas. The Storm Prediction Center said scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop during Thursday afternoon.

So far in 2023, there have been 542 reported tornadoes, 67 of which have come in April, according to the National Weather Service.Twenty-six states have recorded a tornado so far this year. Illinois has had the most tornadoes so far in 2023 with 83. Alabama has the second-most with 79.

On March 31 alone, there were 162 reports of tornadoes from Wisconsin to Georgia.