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    Dangerous Thunderstorms Eye Talladega

    By Story by AccuWeather.com Expert Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski
    April 23, 2010, 1:10:00 PM EDT

    The same system that sparked tornadoes over the southern Plains Thursday evening will produce waves of dangerous thunderstorms and heavy rain at Talladega Superspeedway this evening through Saturday evening.

    Rather than just being one line of storms or heavy rain for a several-hour period, it now appears that as many as several rounds of potentially severe thunderstorms will roll through east-central Alabama.

    The thunderstorms will bring the risk of damaging wind gusts, flash flooding, large hail, and even a tornado.

    As of Friday evening, NASCAR officials said the race weekend schedule will continue on as planned. NASCAR will attempt to hold Cup Series qualifying during the morning hours on Saturday, followed by the Nationwide Series Aaron's 312, scheduled for 2 p.m. (CDT).


    Lightning will pose the greatest danger, as many people will be outdoors in unprotected areas. Remember tents, pavilions and grandstands do not offer adequate protection from lightning.

    During strong thunderstorm winds, tents, tarps and canopies can be tossed about and destroyed, with debris potentially causing serious injuries.

    While the odds of a tornado striking the immediate Superspeedway area are relatively small, there will be multiple opportunities for severe weather conditions and tornadoes.

    The first round of thunderstorms with locally strong winds is expected to roll through tonight.

    Fans hanging around for evening activities following Sprint Cup practice and Nationwide Series qualifying could get blasted and soaked by nasty windswept downpours.


    Repetitive drenching showers and locally strong thunderstorms are expected late tonight into Saturday morning.

    Any brightening that occurs Saturday midday may only entice another round of nasty thunderstorms during the afternoon and night.

    The Nationwide Series race and Sprint Cup qualifying could be rained out.

    The good news is that fans, drivers and officials should get a break from Mother Nature Sunday.

    Crews will be working to dry off the track in time for the start of the Sprint Cup race at 1:00 p.m. While the chance of rain is not zero for Sunday, the vast majority of the time will be rain-free. There is a slight chance for a passing shower.

    With the wild and, at times, dangerous weather expected this weekend, NASCAR fans are encouraged to keep an eye on the weather, while keeping the other on their favorite pastime.

    Related to the Story: South Central Radar Severe Weather Center Visit our Facebook Fan Page Follow us on Twitter Breaking Weather Extreme Weather with Henry Margusity Southeast Weather with Frank Strait

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