Tens of millions of Americans are under storm warning as FAA reroutes flights in Kansas and Missouri to avoid tornadoes, hail and winds –  are you in its path of destruction?

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Storms were seen across the Plains at sunrise, as well as at least two tornadoes
  • One touched down in Kansas and the other in Nebraska. There are no casualties
  • The storms are poised to stay strong as they hit the Midwest Tuesday afternoon

A storm system comprised of tornadoes, hail, and damaging winds will push through the Midwest midweek before making its way east – and the FAA is scrambling to reroute flights.

Thunderstorms were already seen rolling across the Plains at sunrise as well as several tornadoes, spurring the agency to announce the changes Tuesday at 12:15pm.

One touched down in Kansas and the other in southern Nebraska some eight hours before, as the system continues to move northeast of speeds of about 45 mph. 

A third was seen in eastern Missouri around 11am just north of Kansas City, where a tornado warning is still in effect. Dopplers also detected a brief tornado near Minburn, Iowa, around noon, as the region is set to be bombarded by the system later in the day. A tornado warning has been issued there as well.

Another was seen forming over Nebraska early in the afternoon, photographed as it moved north. The storms, meanwhile, are poised to stay strong as they rip across the Midwest, bringing with it the potential for golf ball-sized hail and 80 mph winds.

More tornadoes are also possible, as more than 70million Americans remain under severe weather alert.

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A storm system comprised of tornadoes, hail, and damaging winds will push through the Midwest Tuesday before making its way further east, meteorologists said

A tornado was seen forming over Nebraska early in the afternoon as the system moved east. The towering mass of wind was photographed as it moved north

A tornado was seen forming over Nebraska early in the afternoon as the system moved east. The towering mass of wind was photographed as it moved north

FAA National Traffic Management Officer Wayne Hubbard revealed the agency has rerouted flights to address parts of the system set to form over Central and South Virginia Tuesday afternoon

FAA National Traffic Management Officer Wayne Hubbard revealed the agency has rerouted flights to address parts of the system set to form over Central and South Virginia Tuesday afternoon

FAA National Traffic Management Officer Wayne Hubbard revealed the agency has rerouted flights to address parts of the system set to form over Central and South Virginia Tuesday afternoon, which he said ‘may cause issues getting in and out of the New York and DC region later on’ in the day.

 ‘Also, around the vicinity of Forth Worth,’ he said, ‘[the FAA] has made plans to address the line of thunderstorms projected to build around [the region] 

‘Thunderstorms throughout Salt Lake City in Denver may also required routes in and out of Denver Airport,’ he added in a video statement from the FAA’s Command Center.

‘Beyond that, we’ll continue to work on our constraints. You can check our website at fly.faa.gov for information as it comes.’

The comes after an already heightened risk of tornadoes Monday, over parts of Kansas and Nebraska. 

Southern Iowa, Northern Missouri and Central Illinois will all face the largest threat of 'significant hail and tornado[es],' the NWS said - while parts of Oklahoma , Missouri and Virginia also face a slight risk. Pictured, the jet stream fueling the supercell

Southern Iowa, Northern Missouri and Central Illinois will all face the largest threat of ‘significant hail and tornado[es],’ the NWS said – while parts of Oklahoma , Missouri and Virginia also face a slight risk. Pictured, the jet stream fueling the supercell

The storms - seen here- are are poised to stay strong as they rip across the Midwest, bringing with it the potential for golf ball-sized hail and 80 mph winds

The storms – seen here- are are poised to stay strong as they rip across the Midwest, bringing with it the potential for golf ball-sized hail and 80 mph winds

Iowa and the Quad Cities will bear the brunt of the supercell, set to be hit by strong winds, hail and flash flooding - and possibly twisters

Iowa and the Quad Cities will bear the brunt of the supercell, set to be hit by strong winds, hail and flash flooding – and possibly twisters

VIRGINIA – Storm hits Mid-Atlantic with wind, hail late Monday

The forefront of the sprawling storm system struck Washington, DC, and Virginia late Monday, as the larger mass of weather remained in the Midwest several thousand miles away.

Citizens there subsequently reported winds nearing 70 mph that toppled trees, as well as golf-sized ball hail.

Frightening footage showed lighting that also enveloped the area, with bolts seen illuminating the night sky over Richmond as rain fell. 

Thousands of Dominion Energy customers in the Richmond region were left without power Monday night as a result – an outage estimated to affect around 13,000 customers. 

Frightening footage showed lighting that enveloped the DC area Monday night, with bolts seen illuminating the night sky over Richmond as rain fell. The region was struck by a portion of the system late Monday as most of the rest remained around the Midwest

Frightening footage showed lighting that enveloped the DC area Monday night, with bolts seen illuminating the night sky over Richmond as rain fell. The region was struck by a portion of the system late Monday as most of the rest remained around the Midwest

It brought with it hail, seen falling here in Brambleton, Virginia, the night of April 15, 2024. Officials said the spheres were the size of golf balls

It brought with it hail, seen falling here in Brambleton, Virginia, the night of April 15, 2024. Officials said the spheres were the size of golf balls

Thousands of Dominion Energy customers in the Richmond region were left without power Monday night as a result - an outage estimated to affect around 13,000 customers

Thousands of Dominion Energy customers in the Richmond region were left without power Monday night as a result – an outage estimated to affect around 13,000 customers

More than 2,000 outages were also reported along U.S. Route 33 in Glen Allen as of 7:15 pm, where a severe thunder storm watch alleviated around 10 pm. 

Officials also aired reported of downed trees in Short Pump, as the weather dissipated and gave way to the larger mass of storms later seen over the middle of the US.

NEBRASKA, KANSAS & OKLAHOMA  – Storms and twisters overnight

Law enforcement officers in Kansas reported that a tornado touched down southeast of Eureka around 4:45 am, putting Greenwood county under a tornado warning until 5 am. 

No one was reported injured, but a recreational vehicle was reported destroyed in Osage County.

At least four to five homes southwest of Overbook were also damaged, as photos showed downed trees and branches blocking roads.

Another tornado was seen hours earlier in Southern Nebraska, as areas further north were plagued by power outages and more storm damage.

Damage south of Eureka from a likely tornado is seen here on Tuesday morning. Law enforcement officers in Kansas reported that a tornado touched down southeast of the town around 4:45 am

Damage south of Eureka from a likely tornado is seen here on Tuesday morning. Law enforcement officers in Kansas reported that a tornado touched down southeast of the town around 4:45 am

Earlier in the morning, blindingly bright lightning is seen from the growing storm as it approached Dodge City, Kansas, on Tuesday

Earlier in the morning, blindingly bright lightning is seen from the growing storm as it approached Dodge City, Kansas, on Tuesday

At 3am, power  outages were reported in the city of Juniata, but power has since been restored.

Tree limbs were also blown down from more than 60mph winds in nearby Kearny county, where a train derailed a few miles east, near the intersection of Highway 30 and Keystone Road just before 4am, the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. 

Thunderstorm winds of 55-to-65 miles-per-hour were also seen in southern Nebraska, with one gust clocking in at 78-miles-per-hour.

Quarter to half-dollar sized hail partly covered the ground in Edison, where windows were broken out because of the falling ice.

Far north-central Nebraska, on the other hand, has had hail up to golf-ball size.

Earlier on in the day, storm chasers were seen following the system in the Texas Big Country, which aside from some rainfall and lightning, was mostly spared by the weather event. 

MISSOURI, IOWA & NEBRASKA  – Storms and twisters around noon

Just after 11am, a possible tornado rotation was detected east of Smithville, Missouri, moving northeast at 50 mph, meteorologists a few miles away in Kansas City said.

It is not yet known if a twister actually occurred, and no injuries were reported as of 11:30amET.

Shortly after, people in the path of the storms were urged to take cover.

‘Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building,’ the National Weather Service said while issuing a tornado warning for parts of Clinton, Clay and Platte counties.

‘Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.’

Scans taken by the service just before noon showed that the weather event has since dissipated. 

Another twister was spotted forming near Humphrey, Nebraska around 1pm, spurring another tornado warning for Platte County

Another twister was spotted forming near Humphrey, Nebraska around 1pm, spurring another tornado warning for Platte County

The tornado was seen moving north just after 1:30pm at 15mph, 15 miles north of Columbus. No injuries were immediately reported

The tornado was seen moving north just after 1:30pm at 15mph, 15 miles north of Columbus. No injuries were immediately reported

The system is seen here late Tuesday morning from the Town of Kansas Bridge in Missouri, as it continues to barrel east

The system is seen here late Tuesday morning from the Town of Kansas Bridge in Missouri, as it continues to barrel east

At least four to five homes in Nebraska were damaged by the storms seen overnight, with photos from Kearney County showing downed trees and branches blocking roads

At least four to five homes in Nebraska were damaged by the storms seen overnight, with photos from Kearney County showing downed trees and branches blocking roads

Storms were seen moving over De Moines, Iowa, at 11am. A second, more severe round of storms will develop this afternoon officials said. Those storms will carry a tornado threat

Storms were seen moving over De Moines, Iowa, at 11am. A second, more severe round of storms will develop this afternoon officials said. Those storms will carry a tornado threat

More storms are forecast to sprout up across Iowa to Arkansas Tuesday afternoon, Missouri included

More storms are forecast to sprout up across Iowa to Arkansas Tuesday afternoon, Missouri included

Storms were seen moving over De Moines, Iowa, at 11am. A second, more severe round of storms will develop this afternoon officials said. Those storms will carry a tornado threat. 

David King, a meteorologist with the NWS in Chicago, offered details about the system’s predicted path.

‘Once we get into the afternoon hours Tuesday, there is the potential for scattered thunderstorms across northern Illinois which could become severe,’ he said Tuesday morning.

‘And it looks like we have another round Wednesday morning that could produce hail and strong wind, as well,’ added Alex Gibbs, lead meteorologist with the NWS Quad Cities. 

Both said Iowa and the Quad Cities will bear the brunt of the supercell by this point, with King categorizing the risk level of severe weather – anything life-threatening – as a 2 out of 5.

On Tuesday, Southern Iowa, Northern Missouri and Central Illinois will all face the largest threat of ‘significant hail and tornado[es],’ the NWS said – while parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Virginia also face a slight risk.

Dopplers also detected a brief tornado near Minburn, Iowa, around 12pm, though that threat, as of 12:30pm, has passed. No injuries were immediately reported.

Another twister was spotted forming near Humphey, Nebraska around 1pm, spurring another tornado warning for Platte County.

The tornado was seen moving north just after 1:30pm at 15mph, 15 miles north of Columbus, and was filmed two hours later still raging near the village of Howells.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Moreover, more storms are forecast to sprout up across Iowa to Arkansas Tuesday afternoon, Missouri included. 

ILLINOIS & VIRGINIA – Storms and tornadoes later in the afternoon

Severe scattered thunderstorms are also expected to bring strong winds, hail, flash flooding and even possible tornadoes to Illinois and Virginia later in the day, meteorologists said, as May is generally considered the midpoint of tornado season.

Harold Brooks, a tornado scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, on Tuesday explained the relatively new phenomenon of tornadoes forming so far east, while explaining how late April to the middle of May is actually when the strongest tornadoes occur – and when the most fatalities appear.

‘There’s a lot of uncertainty in those estimates,’ he, however, first disclaimed, Citing the fact that each tornado season varies year to year.

That said, the presence of tornadoes along the Mississippi River and farther east than typical tornado territory over the decades has kept scientists like him guessing – as some theorize that one possible factor could be that the western Great Plains getting drier due to climate change.

A tornado is therefor in effect for several parts of Illinois, while Virginia is poised to only be hit by thunderstorms and likely hail.

Wisconsin is also under a loose tornado threat, as the storm moves northeast.

Joe Strus, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, on Tuesday concluded climate change is to blame for precipitation having ‘shifted east a little bit.’

OHIO, KENTUCKY & INDIANA – Storms to hit Wednesday morning 

Currently moving through the Great Plains, the system will eventually reach the Mississippi Valley, and Great Lakes and Ohio Valley areas on Wednesday, bringing with it ‘severe weather and isolated flash flooding’ before tracking further east.

The highest tornado threat will be in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, including Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland. 

This is a developing story; please check back for more updates. 

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