Tornadoes, strong winds and giant hail the size of grapefruits were reported in parts of Nebraska and Kansas Tuesday as a multi-day severe weather threat began in the central U.S., due to what is shaping up to be a classic early-May setup in the nation’s heartland.

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Tornado in Tescott, Kansas on May 1, 2018. via Twitter

The jet stream has now taken a southward plunge over the West, and this feature will gradually slide into the Plains states over the next several days, providing pulses of energy at roughly 30,000 feet above the ground.

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The overall jet stream and surface ingredients for what could be widespread severe weather over multiple days in the Plains and Midwest this week.

This will give rise to rounds of severe thunderstorms – tornado, high winds, hail, lightning – each day and evening in parts of the Plains and Midwest through Thursday.

Yesterday tornadoes:

  • A confirmed tornado touched down near Fairbury in southeastern Nebraska
  • A second likely tornado touched down near Glasco, Kansas, and moved northeastward toward northern Kansas. The tornado crossed Highway 81 eight miles west of Aurora with several power poles snapped along its path.

  • At least one possible tornado touched down near Marquette, Nebraska, but no damage was reported.
  • Another possible tornado was reported near Doniphan, Nebraska, with light damage to outbuildings reported by the Doniphan Fire Department.
  • A wedge tornado caused damage to one home near Tescott, Kansas, but no injuries were reported. Several power poles were snapped at the ground in Culver by this tornado.

Yesterday high winds:

  • A semi-truck was jackknifed on a highway as strong winds whipped through Wilson, Kansas. Officials shut down the eastbound lanes of the highway.
  • Outbuildings in Shelby, Iowa, were destroyed or badly damaged by strong winds Tuesday. A pole barn was collapsed and grain bins were also damaged.

Yesterday hail:

  • Some hail up to the size of a grapefruit was reported from northern Kansas to southeastern Nebraska.
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Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via Twitter
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Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via VK
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Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via Twitter
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Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via VK
widespread severe thunderstorms in the central U.S., hail kansas nebraska may 2018, Hail, damaging winds and tornadoes kansas iowa nebrask, severe weather nebraska and Kansas may 2018
Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via VK
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Giant hail damages Kansas and Nebraska on May 1, 2018. And the extreme weather will continue until Thursday. via Facebook

What is going on there

The jet stream has now taken a southward plunge over the West, and this feature will gradually slide into the Plains states over the next several days, providing pulses of energy at roughly 30,000 feet above the ground.

To the east of that, increasingly warm and humid air is being drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico into the Plains and Midwest.

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Extreme weather outbreak in Kansas and Nebraska: thunderstorm, tornadoes, giant hail, high winds. via Twitter

The combination of cold, dry air aloft overlying the warm, humid air near the surface, changing wind speed and direction with height known as wind shear and sources of lift such as frontal boundaries and the dryline is a classic spring pattern for severe weather in the Plains states.

This will give rise to rounds of severe thunderstorms each day and evening in parts of the Plains and Midwest through Thursday. Get prepared!

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Damage, Tornadoes Reported in Nebraska as Severe Weather Ramps Up in Midwest

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