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Plains Brace for Severe Storms as Heat Wave Looms

by Erik Ortiz /  / Updated 
A tree fell on July 14, 2016, after a storm in Little Rock, Ark.Gareth Patterson / AP

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A second round of severe thunderstorms was expected to sweep across the Plains on Friday and into the weekend, pounding the region with large hail and brutal winds.

Isolated severe storms are likely from North Platte, Nebraska, down to Oklahoma City, The Weather Channel reported.

The National Weather Service also issued a severe thunderstorm warning Friday for parts of northern Texas. The coming storms have caused a ground stop at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, delaying 78 flights and cancelling 26 more, reported NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Eastern Oklahoma is recovering after a line of storms clobbered the area on Thursday with wind gusts up to 80 mph in Muskogee and 75 mph in Tulsa. There were more than 300 reports of damaging winds, according to Weather.com.

Thousands were left without power, and the storms apparently knocked over a traveling mobile home on a Tulsa-area highway.

The severe weather is expected to continue Saturday from Bismarck, North Dakota, down to North Platte, and then hit Minneapolis, most of Wisconsin as well as the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area into Sunday.

"You can’t rule out an isolated tornado," said Weather Channel meteorologist Domenica Davis.

Meanwhile, a strong line of storms that moved through the New York and New Jersey areas as well as New England on Thursday has given way to extreme heat, which will affect an estimated 15 million people.

New York City could top 95 degrees, although forecasters say it will feel like in the triple digits, and officials have opened cooling centers to combat heat-related illnesses.

Related: How Is the Heat Index Calculated?

An intense heat wave is still looming across most of the country for next week. Meteorologists warn that the triple-digit temperatures will feel particularly strong from North Dakota down to Texas.

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