A severe weather outbreak could affect millions this weekend across the central US

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A parade of storms brings unseasonably wet conditions to the west coast, while setting the stage for severe weather in the central U.S. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the weekend forecast.

Posted: May 17, 2019 10:50 AM
Updated: May 17, 2019 10:50 AM

A severe weather outbreak starts Friday in the central US and could last into the middle of next week across the eastern two-thirds of the country, bringing the threat of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds.

The storm system is the same one that led to torrential rains to California earlier this week.

Track the severe weather with CNN's storm tracker

Several areas of the country face threats Friday. The most significant threat for tornadoes will be across central Nebraska.

Parts of West Texas also are at risk for possible tornadoes. Portions of the mid-Atlantic region, including Washington, could see severe storms later Friday as well.

4 tornado safety tips that could save your life

More than 50 million people could be affected based on areas at risk for severe weather, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

Storms will likely affect populated areas such as Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City. The threats include damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail that could exceed the size of a tennis ball or baseball.

On Sunday, the storm system is expected to continue east, targeting Midwest states such as Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

On the heels of this system, yet another potential significant storm event will appear early next week for portions of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley.

Flooding remains a concern. Two to 4 inches of rain is expected to fall on already saturated ground across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest.

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