A spring mostly void of severe weather could change Wednesday evening.
Residents from border to border in Nebraska should keep an eye on conditions, forecasters said, with the severe weather threat extending into the eastern part of the state by the early-morning hours of Thursday.
Already Wednesday afternoon, a severe thunderstorm watch was posted for much of western Nebraska. Forecasters expect that storms that form there late Wednesday afternoon could congeal into a dangerous line that could race across the state throughout the evening and overnight hours.
The primary threat will be high winds of up to 75 mph.
Models indicate that the line of storms could move at 40-50 mph, possibly reaching the Lincoln area after midnight.
Forecasters said residents should monitor forecasts and consider securing anything that could be damaged by high winds before going to bed.
Ahead of the line of storms, isolated thunderstorms are expected to become more widespread Wednesday afternoon and evening.
At 2:30 p.m., a severe thunderstorm possibly packing 60 mph winds and quarter-size hail was moving through Frontier County in southwest Nebraska.
Forecasters said large hail will be possible within storms that develop ahead of the line, with a tornado or two possible primarily across southwest Nebraska. That part of the state is included in an enhanced risk of severe weather by the National Weather Service.
A storm in northwest Kansas on Wednesday morning produced tennis ball-sized hail that reportedly busted the windshield of a storm chaser’s vehicle not far from Goodland.
Storms on Wednesday could also produce heavy rain, with up to 3 inches possible in some areas. The long-range forecast includes the possibility of more heavy rain over the Memorial Day weekend.
In Lincoln, highs will drop from the 80s on Wednesday to 75 on Thursday and into the 60s by Friday.