Tennis ball sized hail possible with storm this afternoon (6/1/18)

National Weather Service

Severe weather could bring hail as large as tennis balls and baseballs to parts of Nebraska today as well as wind gusts as high as 75 to 80 mph. A few tornadoes are also possible.

Darren Snively, a forecaster with the National Weather Service (NWS) out of North Platte, said storms will likely form in the Valentine area approximately 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.. “They will grow up quickly into a cluster or line of storms from 6 to 9 p.m.,” Snively said. "They will turn from isolated thunderstorms into large scale storms." The system will move east, with the severe weather moving into the eastern part of the state 8 p.m. to 11 p.m..

“The severe threat is there all along,” Snively said. “Damaging winds are the highest threat with gusts possible as high as 80 mph.” Snively also said hail 2” or greater in diameter is possible as well as localized flooding. Tornadoes are not out of the question.

If tornadoes form, they will most likely form in the first two to three hours of the storms, Snively said.

There will also be “quite a bit of lightning,” Snively said. He lightning can strike as far as ten to 15 miles away from the main part of a storm. People who plan on outdoor activities this afternoon and evening such as fishing and camping should keep that in mind and take shelter when necessary.

The NWS upgraded the threat of severe weather for a good portion of Nebraska to moderate, which is a 4 our of 5 levels. “Nebraska only gets a handful of moderate rating each year,” Snively said. “This is significant.”

The area of Hwy 83 will see storms in afternoon to early-evening; Hwy 183 area will be mid-to-late evening; and Hwy 281 will be late evening, according to Snively.