updated 4/13/2011 11:32:29 AM ET 2011-04-13T15:32:29

Severe thunderstorm activity has gotten off to a fast start so far in April, right on cue with the ramp up of the severe weather season.

We're not even halfway through the month and we've racked up a combined 2,935 reports of damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes across the central and eastern states. This is 86 percent of April's entire month 10-year average (2000-2009) of 3,402 reports in the first 11 days!

This includes a widespread wind damage event from April 4-5 and a record-breaking number of tornadoes in a single April day in Wisconsin this past Sunday.

Also, who can forget the amazing tornado footage from this past Saturday in Iowa where supercell thunderstorms spawned tornadoes as strong as EF3 intensity.

Here we go again, another batch of energy aloft (jet stream disturbance) from the West is headed for the Plains by Thursday. This will help intensify a surface low in the middle of country and push a cold front eastward, while Gulf of Mexico moisture returns northward.

There is some question about how much moisture is able to return, and how far north it will return, after a cold front brought a drier air mass to these regions the last few days. A greater moisture return will increase the threat of tornadoes. That said, the impressive upper-level system, jet stream and surface features may make up for any moisture deficiency.

Believe it our not, there will also be a snowy side to this storm! For more on that story, click here.

Below is a look at the forecast and timing of this latest round of severe storms from Thursday through Friday:




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