Severe Weather Developing Across Middle America

April 8, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

NORMAN, Okla.—Forecasters say severe weather developing in the nation’s midsection could be stronger than previously expected and ultimately stretch from the plains of West Texas to the Appalachian Mountains.

In a midday update to Wednesday’s forecast, the Storm Prediction Center went to its second-highest advisory level — a moderate risk — while cautioning that a strong tornado or two could form in an area between Wichita, Kansas, and Jefferson City, Missouri.

Heat, humidity and the approach of a jet stream would help generate storms Wednesday afternoon and evening. Strong storms are expected again Thursday in the mid-Mississippi River Valley.

Less than 1 million people were in Wednesday’s “moderate risk” area, but 34 million were under at least a slight risk of seeing damaging winds, large hail and possibly a tornado.