Mar 26, 4:11 AM EDT

Storms to take aim at Plains in turbulent week of weather


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ATLANTA (AP) -- Storms packing tree-tumbling winds and car-denting hail could strike parts of the Plains on Sunday, the latest round in a turbulent week of wild weather across the Midwest and the South, forecasters said.

The worst storms Sunday will be across a wide swath of central Oklahoma and the northern tip of Texas, according to forecasts from the national Storm Prediction Center.

The area includes the Oklahoma City metro area. Residents of western Arkansas will also be risk, but to a lesser degree than central Oklahoma.

A "very active" weather pattern is unfolding this week after storms lashed several southern states late Friday and into Saturday, said Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the Storm Prediction Center.

Golf ball-sized hail and wind gusts of up to 70 mph are possible in Oklahoma Sunday. Sunday's thunderstorms are expected to track eastward and could be accompanied by damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.

The new threat comes as residents in the Deep South are clearing branches and working to restore power from weekend storms.

In northwest Louisiana, sheriff's officials said a church was destroyed by an apparent tornado late Friday night. No injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service planned damage surveys to confirm whether a tornado struck the church.

A tornado destroyed four mobile homes and damaged others near Cato, Arkansas, late Friday night, the National Weather Service confirmed on Saturday.

As the storms moved from Arkansas and Louisiana to the east, they toppled trees and power lines in Mississippi and Louisiana.

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Associated Press Writer Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed. Juozapavicius reported from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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