Violent severe storms will be on the prowl across the northern Plains, the …

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Violent severe storms will be on the prowl across the northern Plains, the Carolinas and parts of Texas into tonight.

Cities in the threat zone for powerful thunderstorms include Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, S.D., Omaha, Neb., Raleigh and Wilmington, N.C., Augusta, Ga., Wichita Falls and San Angelo, Texas.

A number of different factors will be in play for the development of damaging severe thunderstorms into tonight.

In the northern Plains from southwestern Minnesota to eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, a storm system developing over the central Plains will set the stage for rapid thunderstorm development this evening into tonight.

Out ahead of a cold front, warm and moisture-rich air will stream northward into the region. As the cold front approaches, thunderstorms will explode and become potentially dangerous.

The greatest threats will be damaging straight-line winds, very large hail to the size of baseballs and drenching downpours.

There is also an elevated threat for the strongest storms to spawn a few tornadoes. Heed all watches and warnings and have a plan in place if severe weather threatens your area.

If a tornado warning is issued and you are in a car or a mobile home, abandon it quickly and seek a sturdy shelter.

With plenty of moisture available, there will also be a threat for flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Torrential downpours in a short period of time can cause ponding on roadways and for some roads to even become completely covered in water. If you are ever faced with a roadway under water, turn around and seek an alternative route.

Farther southeast into the Carolinas, a slowly advancing cold front from the north will spark locally damaging thunderstorms into the evening hours.

The greatest threats will be strong, gusty winds and large hail. Strong straight-line winds can cause damage to trees and power lines, which can lead to power outages and even structural damage.

As daytime heating wanes later this evening, the severe storm threat should diminish, though a complex of thunderstorms can still bring drenching downpours and dangerous lightning.

In the southern Plains across central Texas, the threat for severe thunderstorms will be much more isolated into tonight. Still, any thunderstorms that develop can become severe and cause significant damage.

Similarly to recent days, a boundary separating very dry air from moist air will provide the ignition for thunderstorms.

The greatest threat will be large hail, which can cause severe damage to cars, houses and vegetation. If you have any tender vegetation outside, bring it inside until the storm passes.

For the latest severe weather updates, keep checking back with AccuWeather.com

By: Mark Miller, meteorologist

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