Tornado watches issued for Kansas, Oklahoma

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The National Weather Service says a "likely" tornado in northwestern Oklahoma has ended the state's record start to the year without a twister. The watch was extended Wednesday afternoon to include the Oklahoma City metro and Stillwater.

Weather spotters reported a brief tornado just south of Chester, Nebraska, in Republic County, Kan.

New technology allows forecasters to identify hazards in storms along with boosting lead time for severe storm warnings. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Also, please watch out for high water spots because the rain has been excessive for many communities.

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Thursday night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2am. High temps will likely reach the mid 80s before the wind shift brings something that feels much better tomorrow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. Northwest wind around 5 miles per hour.

The upper trough should go east and clouds will decrease and dew points will drop sharply Thursday night. West wind around 5 miles per hour becoming north in the afternoon. Quiet and dry for the area Friday with numbers of 79-81, then it could be really nice with temps of 80-84 and sunshine Saturday!

A slow-moving cold front stretching from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains will provide a focus for storms to build off of, and key ingredients for tornadoes such as warm, humid air and strong winds will be in abundance across the Plains.