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Plains states on edge under tornado watches

Tornado watches are already in effect until late Saturday for parts of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. And forecasters say this violent storm system could stretch into the Midwest Sunday. The Weather Channel's Kim Cunningham reports.

Large sections of the Plains states came under tornado watches Saturday as a wave of storms swept through.

The greatest threat late Saturday was in eastern Kansas and Oklahoma, weather.com reported, with central Oklahoma seeing a spike on Sunday.

But Weather Channel meteorologist Michael Palmer said the storms on Sunday afternoon and evening were likely to carry a greater chance of tornadoes and the danger will be present into Monday.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for most of western and central Kansas until 11 p.m. CDT, NBC station KSNW of Wichita reported. Early Saturday evening, a Weather Service tornado warning was in effect for an area north of Dodge City, Kansas, that included Ellis, Ness, Rush and Trego counties.

The storms are being generated by a dip in the jet stream combined with moisture moving north from the Gulf of Mexico, Kim Cunningham of The Weather Channel reported on NBC Nightly News (see the video above).

The danger follows a series of tornadoes that struck northern Texas on Wednesday night, leaving six people dead and dozens injured. One of the twisters was preliminarily classified EF-4 by the National Weather Service, meaning it could have had winds up to 200 miles per hour.

Overall, tornadic activity has been slow this May, typically a bad month for twisters, said the Weather Channel’s Tom Moore.

NBC News staff writer Matthew DeLuca contributed to this report.

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