Central US bracing for severe weather

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Forecasters say an outbreak of severe weather is possible this weekend in parts of the nation's midsection.

An area stretching from Texas to South Dakota is at risk for large hail, strong wind gusts and tornadoes today.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says scattered severe storms could develop across the central and southern Plains this afternoon and continue into the overnight hours, with northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma at the greatest risk.

Severe weather is possible again tomorrow. Forecasters say the greatest chance of tornadoes will be in Arkansas and parts of Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Yesterday, strong thunderstorms rumbled through North Carolina, toppling trees and causing property damage. There were numerous reports of funnel clouds in eastern North Carolina but no confirmed tornadoes. To the west, a strong storm took down trees and power lines in the Statesville area.

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145-a-15-(Rich Thompson, meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center, in AP interview)-"begins on Sunday"-Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Rich Thompson says the middle of the country is about to enter the most active period of severe weather yet this season. (26 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *145 (04/26/14)££ 00:15 "begins on Sunday"

149-a-10-(Rich Thompson, meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center, in AP interview)-"be on Sunday"-Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Rich Thompson says a number of cities are at risk of violent weather and potentially tornadoes this weekend. (26 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *149 (04/26/14)££ 00:10 "be on Sunday"

148-a-07-(Rich Thompson, meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center, in AP interview)-"severe weather risk"-Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Rich Thompson says a system of potentially violent storms is brewing in the center of the country and expected to slowly move eastward. (26 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *148 (04/26/14)££ 00:07 "severe weather risk"

147-a-12-(Rich Thompson, meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center, in AP interview)-"the Gulf Coast"-Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Rich Thompson says eastern Oklahoma, northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and Arkansas are at most risk, but many more people could be affected by this round of storms. (26 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *147 (04/26/14)££ 00:12 "the Gulf Coast"

146-a-12-(Rich Thompson, meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center, in AP interview)-"at greatest risk"-Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Rich Thompson says there's some potentially dangerous weather brewing in the nation's midsection, and tomorrow could be a rough day for many. (26 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *146 (04/26/14)££ 00:12 "at greatest risk"

APPHOTO NCDUS101: Menacing dark clouds brought rain, wind and lightning above downtown Durham, North Carolina, Friday afternoon, April 25, 2014, as cold and warm fronts clashed, making a dangerous weather situation. Forecasters are predicting a significant chance of strong tornadoes this weekend across a large part of the nation's mid-section, an outbreak that could stretch from the Great Plains to the Midwest and South. (AP Photo/The Herald-Sun, Bernard Thomas) (11 Aug 2013)

<<APPHOTO NCDUS101 (08/11/13)££

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