Hail, Flash Flooding Tonight in Midwest, South, East

March 15, 2012; 7:25 PM ET
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The risk of thunderstorms with localized flash flooding and hail continues tonight in the Ohio Valley, but expands as well.

As Meteorologist Bill Deger said earlier Thursday, "Record-challenging warmth continuing across the eastern two-thirds of the country will combine with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to generate scattered thunderstorms."

A reported tornado touched down, damaging trees, power lines and a shed 2 miles northeast of Dexter, Mi.

Clusters of these storms, could turn severe, producing isolated large hail and frequent lightning strikes. However, the major threat will continue to be flash flooding. In addition, in portions of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, where lines of storm organize, there is also the risk of damaging wind gusts.

The risk of locally severe thunderstorms tonight stretches from the northern parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, northward to western New York and southern Ontario.

Photo from Flickr user, thehutch. Watch for towering thunderstorm clouds with an abundance of warm and humid air.

A wedge of cool, stable air will protect part of the coastal Northeast from the nastiest storms, but some downpours can survive the trip to the coast in a few instances.

"Such a setup is more typical for the summer months but just goes to show the unusual weather pattern gripping much of the nation here in mid-March," Deger added.

Similar to the summer, the storms will be rather hit-or-miss, but if you get underneath one of the storms, rainfall can go wild for a time and can be accompanied by hail and strong winds.

The storms have had a history of producing large hail to the size of golf balls and four inches of rain in a few hours.

Thunderstorms in Ohio resulted in flooding in Licking and Hocking counties in Ohio, forcing at least two water rescues, this morning. Flash flooding occurred during the midday in portions of West Virginia.

As of 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, thunderstorms with hail have occurred in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, West Virgina and Georgia.

Additional states will likely join in this evening.

The potential for locally drenching and severe storms will persist across portions of the central and eastern states for at least the next few days as warmth, moisture and upper-level disturbances combine forces.


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