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Severe weather outbreak forecast for Plains

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Satellite image taken at 7:02 p.m. EDT on Thursday  

CAMP SPRINGS, Maryland (CNN) -- A significant severe weather outbreak, including tornadoes, hail and high winds, is forecast for Friday afternoon and night across parts of the Central and Southern Plains.

The areas most likely to be hit include south-central and southeast Nebraska, central and eastern Kansas and central and eastern Oklahoma, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's storms prediction center said Thursday.

"This is developing into a potentially dangerous situation," said Dan McCarthy, warning coordination meteorologist for the prediction center.

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"Several factors are expected to come together Friday creating the potential for severe weather," McCarthy said. A strong upper-level system is predicted to move from southern California and northwest Mexico into Arizona and New Mexico on Thursday night, then northeast into the Central Plains states Friday.

A strong cold front will accompany the system moving east-northeast from eastern Colorado and eastern New Mexico into the Central and Southern Plains states. A jet stream of 120 to 140 mph is expected over this region, boosting the possibility of tornadoes.

The air ahead of this system is expected to be warm, moist and unstable, another factor that can contribute to tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds, the center said.



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