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    Large, Dangerous Tornado Outbreak Today

    By By Dan DePodwin, meteorologist
    March 03, 2012, 10:58:40 AM EST

    Tornadoes are forecast to swarm today through a very large and populated area of the nation, stretching from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and other states.

    After a brief reprieve from severe weather, a storm system emerging from the Rockies will act as the trigger for another round of dangerous storms in portions of recently hard-hit states and others beginning this morning.

    The tranquil weather over the Ohio and Tennessee valleys will not last long.

    Storms have already erupted across Missouri this morning producing large hail. These damaging storms will continue to push north and east.

    In light of less than perfect atmospheric conditions in the tornado and severe weather outbreak Tuesday night and Wednesday, it seems this potential event may have many key ingredients coming together.

    Warm, moist air will combine with strong winds aloft in such a way to generate powerful thunderstorms that may spawn tornadoes.

    RELATED: Important Tornado Safety Tips

    The first storms are forecast to ignite near the Mississippi River this morning and into the afternoon. They will then push eastward across the Ohio and Tennessee valley states late in the day and during Friday evening.


    Cities at risk for violent storms include Nashville, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Ind.

    In addition to the usual heavy rainfall and frequent lightning that accompanies thunderstorms, these storms could produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.

    AccuWeather.com meteorologists are concerned that today's severe weather outbreak has the potential to be more substantial than the one that blasted through similar areas Tuesday night and Wednesday.

    The midweek outbreak was responsible for 12 deaths and 30 tornado reports.

    The storms at the end of this week may be stronger and may cover a larger and more heavily populated area from the Midwest to the South, like some outbreaks from the past.

    By tonight, thunderstorms are expected to continue to whip eastward, rumbling toward the Appalachians.


    If the storms remain intact, they could bring severe weather from Georgia through the Carolinas Saturday.

    On the northern side of this powerful storm system, blizzard conditions will develop across the Great Lakes tonight.

    Stay tuned to AccuWeather.com through the end of the week as we continuously monitor and update this potentially significant severe weather outbreak.

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