|The areas of the country in yellow and orange-especially the orange|
areas, are at risk for tornadoes, strong thunderstorm winds and
large hail later today and tonight.
Forecasters have been watching this area for the past few days, and things were definitely coming together as of early afternoon to produce some tornadoes, big hail and strong winds.
As always with severe weather outbreaks, it's hard to tell even a few hours in advance exactly how serious and widespread any tornadoes get.
But suffice it to say, look out if you live anywhere near this area. There is definitely a chance of tornadoes around there. Some of the tornadoes could be rather significant, as in on the stronger side with longer than average tracks.
As I wrote this early Monday afternoon, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center was poised to issue a tornado watch for most of Iowa.
I imagine tornado watches might be issues later for much of Missouri, northern Arkansas and western Illinois. In fact, there might end up being a slightly higher tornado risk in Missouri than in Iowa tonight. We'll see.
Some of these areas, especially in eastern Missouri and Illinois, dealt with some destructive tornadoes last week.
To the west of the severe storm risk area, a huge area of the Plains, from southern North Dakota all the way down to northern Texas and eastern New Mexico is under high wind warnings today.
Gusts could reach 70 mph, there's already reports of a lot of blowing dust and tractor trailers have been blown over in some areas. There's a high wildfire risk in parts of these areas.
No rest for the weary, I guess.