Midwest under target zone for storms with damaging wind gusts, hail on Sunday

The FOX Forecast Center is tracking threat lines of storms across the heartlands on Sunday which will be capable of producing hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.

A complex weather pattern over the central U.S. is keeping the daily chance of thunderstorms around, with the latest round impacting Texas and parts of the Plains on Saturday.

Due to the threat of severe storms, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area from eastern Nebraska through much of Iowa and northern Missouri, for the chance of seeing damaging wind and hail on Sunday. 

Rain is being detected on radar across more than a dozen states throughout the northern tier, but the FOX Forecast Center said the next 36 could bring a significant uptick in lightning and severe weather alerts.

Tracking storms
(FOX Weather)


Sunday's severe weather threat

The chance of severe weather will exist well into the late evening hours through the Plains and Midwest. The greatest risk of severe weather is eastern Nebraska, including Omaha and Lincoln, and into southwestern Iowa, including Des Moines, and northwestern Missouri

Again, large hail and fierce wind gusts are the main dangers, with a small risk of an isolated tornado.

"We're talking about 2.3 million people included in that chance to see some severe weather," said FOX Weather meteorologist Craig Herrera.

Forecasters will be closely watching the thunderstorms to determine if they form a linear structure which is an indication that damaging winds a likely present. Wind damage is likely to persist well into the overnight with storms that could extend from the Mississippi River through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.


The severe thunderstorm risk on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
(FOX Weather)


Thunderstorms turn deadly in Texas

Two people were killed in Frankston, Texas after a tree fell into their home Thursday night, according to Anderson County Sheriff Rudy Flores. A 33-year-old man and 29-year-old woman were found dead inside the next morning. 

Meanwhile, trees and power lines were knocked down from passing thunderstorms in Bellevue and Nagadoches, according to National Weather Service spotters. A weather station in Doole registered a gust of 68 mph, while Sherman reported a gust of 67 mph. Over 18,000 people were without power as of early Friday morning, primarily in east Texas, according to PowerOutage.us.

Friday brought similar impacts with golf ball-sized and baseball-sized hail falling over North and Central Texas, including the towns of Burnet and Muenster. 

Most storm reports were centered along Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and the Oklahoma-Texas border. Wind gusts hit 68 mph in Llano and 64 mph in Point Venture.  The National Weather Service received several reports of power poles broken and damaged trees in Granite Shoals. About 32,000 people were without power by early Saturday morning. 

Due to the storms' slow movements, flash flooding was also a concern, especially in rural areas with poor drainage.

"The reason why we have so many different spots (of severe weather) - if you remember we’ve been dominated by the Omega block," said FOX Weather Meteorologist Britta Merwin. "Well, that Omega block has been breaking apart and when that happens, we have a couple different things happening with the upper level jet (stream), and that kind of dictates where we have these hot spots for severe weather."

As of Saturday morning, some  50,000 people lost power in Louisiana the storms moved along the Interstate 10 corridor.

In Central, Louisiana, a woman was trapped in her mobile home after a tree crashed inside. Central Fire Department firefighters were able to pluck her from the damage and get her to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. A second home was also damaged by a falling tree, Central Fire officials said.

Severe weather in New Orleans also forced a delay in the start of their JazzFest.