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By Cassandra Vinograd and Miguel Almaguer

Forecasters warned of a bumpy week ahead as dangerous storms packing large hail and potential tornadoes bore down on large parts of the Monday.

The Plains states got an initial taste of the severe weather outbreak Sunday. Hail nearly twice the size of a quarter was spotted in Nebraska — along with what appeared to be tornadoes.

Lightning sparked fires over the weekend in several states, including Minnesota, where a home in Otsego, northwest of the Twin Cities, was destroyed and a second was damaged with eight children inside.

The children's father, Rich Wade, said he "grabbed the kids and said, 'Hey, come on to the house,' and ... as I turned around to look, at that point the house was fully engulfed."

Two storm chasers were in injured in Kansas as at least seven tornadoes were reported in the Plains states Sunday and Monday.

The real focus for forecasters, however, will be Tuesday, when about 18 million Americans could be in the path of severe storms, forecasters said.

"There's a large area in the typical Tornado Alley really under the gun from Omaha, Nebraska, all the way down through central Texas," said Mike Bettes, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

"We've got all the atmospheric ingredients coming together here — low-level wind shear [and] high instability — and we're looking at probably a tornado outbreak," Bettes said.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to hit the southern Plains, parts of Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley.

Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected in southern Nebraska, central Kansas, central Oklahoma and north-central Texas on Tuesday afternoon. The wacky weather is expected then to march eastward — with tornadoes, hail and damaging winds a possibility.

There'll be no respite on Wednesday, with southern Iowa to northeast Texas at risk of severe storms.