Millions of Americans remain directly in the path of severe storms that brought hail, tornadoes and flooding to Colorado and Kansas late last week. Following a harrowing day of winds and rain that left some residents homeless and others visibly shaken, the weather system is now on track to overshadow a large swath of the Great Plains and Midwest in the coming days.
On Friday, at least 10 tornadoes swept across mostly rural areas of Colorado and Kansas, ABC News reports. A handful of homes near Denver were destroyed, the Associated Press reports, and many others lost power in the storm’s wake. Heavy rains also drenched parts of southwest Arkansas and northwest Louisiana as well as communities in Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder, NBC News reports. In some areas, hail piled up several feet high and in others rivers swelled beyond their banks.
So far, the events have not caused any deaths and only minor injuries. But the danger hasn't passed -- now, the storms are headed east and expected to strike communities from North Dakota to Nebraska and from Denver to Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. The Weather Channel says severe thunderstorms could set in as early as Saturday afternoon in the region.
On Sunday, the storms are expected to move across the Midwest and could impact St. Louis as well as Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana. By Monday, the worst of the weather could reach Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
But even as the system rolls eastward, Colorado isn’t yet out of the front's crosshairs. Forecasters expect the state to endure several more days of intense storms and heavy rainfall after three consecutive days of punishing weather that culminated in Friday’s events. The storm system originated when the cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean, known as El Nino, hit the West Coast on Thursday, sending a shock of low pressure and moisture across the West. In addition to inflicting widespread damage, the influx of precipitation has padded the snowpack in affected states.
"This substantial addition of moisture, both in the form of snow and rain, has notably increased water supply forecasts across the state from a month ago," Brian Domonkos of the Natural Resources Conservation Service told ABC News.