Severe thunderstorms are expected to rumble from Texas on Saturday to Georgia by Sunday as a complex and multi-faceted storm takes shape.
Plenty of warm, moist air transported northward from the Gulf of Mexico will clash with colder air surging southward across the Plains. As a result, violent thunderstorms will erupt over eastern Texas, including Dallas and Houston.
The biggest threats with these storms will be damaging wind gusts to 60 mph and hail as large as quarters or golf balls, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out either.
As this storm system moves eastward Saturday night, a swath of strong to severe thunderstorms will cut across Louisiana and Mississippi, and then across Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle on Sunday.
In addition to damaging winds, hail and the threat for an isolated tornado, very heavy, potentially flooding, rain will also become a concern.
Rainfall amounts in excess of 2 inches are possible east of the mouth of the Mississippi River through the Florida Panhandle by Sunday night.
On the northern fringe of this storm system, snow and ice will snarl travel from Missouri to Maryland into Monday.
For those living from Texas to Georgia, now is a good time to brush up on your severe weather terminology.
Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alert of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm.
Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.
In the wake of this storm, quiet, dry, and mild weather is expected for the upcoming week.
AccuWeather.com meteorologist Dan DePodwin contributed to this story.
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-51 degrees; record low for state.
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