After nearly a year of generally benign storms because of the drought, Nebraska may be in for a rude weekend of severe weather.
Scattered storms with large damaging hail, high winds and possibly tornadoes are forecast across the nation's midsection.
So put the car in the garage this weekend, bring delicate items indoors and batten down the hatches.
And because of the potential for nighttime storms, keep your weather radio handy.
In general terms, the risk of severe weather moves from western Nebraska today and into eastern Nebraska on Sunday.
“Saturday will probably be one of those days when everybody is outside,” said Mike Moritz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hastings, Neb. “You're going to want to have weather information handy.”
The storms are expected to develop this afternoon and evening in southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas and generally move east and north from there over the weekend.
This area of storm development, which in Nebraska includes North Platte, is at a notably concentrated risk of damaging weather, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center.
“This will not be your typical severe weather day,” said Corey Martin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Platte, Neb.
Hail of 2 inches or greater, strong winds and tornadoes could descend on that corner of the state, he said.
Similar conditions could develop elsewhere in Nebraska this weekend.
But the difference between the North Platte area and much of Nebraska northward and eastward is that the storm activity isn't expected to be as thickly concentrated today.
Moritz said a strong cap in the atmosphere could prevent storms from exploding across eastern Nebraska. However, conditions could change quickly.
Because the threat is widespread and conditions are ripe for pockets of dangerous weather, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a statement reminding people to monitor forecasts and prepare wisely.
“It's our way of telling the public that because of the possibility of damage we are monitoring the situation ... and everyone needs to be paying attention,” said regional FEMA spokeswoman Amanda Bicknell.
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