(WASHINGTON) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center issued a rare “high risk” alert on Friday, warning of the potential for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across Midwestern states over the weekend.
The biggest threat is to Oklahoma and Kansas, but states as far north as Nebraska and as far south as Texas could also be in danger. The storms are expected to intensify Saturday afternoon into the evening, when a tornado outbreak is likely to occur.
The storm system in question is currently moving through California, where it is bringing hail and lightning to San Francisco and Sacramento, and three feet of snow to the mountains.
The last time the Storm Prediction Center issued such a high risk this far in advance was in April 2011, ahead of a tornado outbreak in Alabama that killed over 300 people and produced billions of dollars in damage.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire