Significant Tornado Risk Focusing on Arkansas, Missouri

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
April 27, 2014; 11:50 PM ET
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The worst severe weather outbreak so far this year will continue to unfold through Sunday night with the danger of violent tornadoes high in the vicinity of Arkansas and southern Missouri.

Places from northeastern Texas and northern Louisiana to southern Iowa and Illinois will remain at risk for one or two rounds of violent thunderstorms to close out the weekend.

The danger zone also extends back to Nebraska.

The strongest thunderstorms will remain capable of producing damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning and destructive tornadoes.

Cities within this zone include St. Louis, Jefferson City, Joplin and Springfield, Mo.; Jonesboro and Little Rock, Ark.; Shreveport, La.; and Tyler, Texas.

The greatest risk of violent tornadoes is centered around Arkansas and southern Missouri.

Some tornadoes that develop in this area could be long-lived, tracking on the ground for many miles before the storm weakens and the twister lifts off the ground.

An added danger will accompany the storms as they continue into Sunday night with the cover of darkness making it difficult to see a storm as it approaches.

RELATED: Severe Weather Center
Severe Storms to Threaten Millions From St. Louis to New Orleans on Monday
The Difference Between Tornado Watches, Warnings

It is important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

A tornado watch means that conditions are conducive to the development of thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado. Meanwhile, a warning means that a tornado is imminent or may already be on the ground.

If you find yourself in a tornado warning, you should take shelter until the storm has passed and the tornado warning has been lifted.

If you have plans to spend any time in the outdoors, you should pay close attention to the forecast and fast-changing weather conditions so you don't get stuck in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.

Now would be a good time to review tornado safety measures and make a plan in case you are impacted by one of these severe storms.

The threat for severe weather will slowly shift eastward heading into the start of this week, stretching from Alabama to Ohio on both Monday and Tuesday.


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