According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a 4.0 magnitude earthquake shook areas in Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky before dawn Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.
The quake, which struck just before 4:00 a.m. CST, was felt as far away as St. Louis.
The quake center was 16 miles southwest of Cairo, Ill., and 122 miles north-northeast of Memphis, Tenn.
The soil composition in the region likely magnified the effect of the quake somewhat, causing it to be felt over a broad area, and added to the shaking. However, no major damage has been reported, according to the Associated Press and other sources.
Quakes of this magnitude can cause cracks in walls and foundations and knock items off shelves and pictures off walls.
The shallow quake (depth 3.1 miles) early today occurred in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the mid-Mississippi Valley Rift and was centered near East Prairie, Mo.
The area has a history of much stronger earthquakes. Violent quakes occurred in the New Madrid region 200 years ago during 1811 and 1812 with magnitudes ranging from 7.0 to 8.1. These quakes and others before them altered the course of the Mississippi River.
Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews contributed to the content of this story.
A surfing contest in San Diego featured some unique competitors on Sunday.
The first part of this week will feel more like September than the middle of July, typically the hottest time of year, throughout the Midwest.
The hot weather seen across the Northwest over the weekend will carry over into the new week, continuing the risk of heat-related illness.
Areas in the East and South will be at risk for severe thunderstorms packing damaging winds, flooding rain and frequent lightning strikes into Tuesday.
Watch a new edition of AccuWeather LIVE every weekday at 12 p.m. EDT.
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Lightning killed two and injured 44 at the Ascot Race track. Some were knocked over; others were lifted into the air.
Albuquerque, NM (1979)
105 degrees -- tied all-time record
Greensboro, NC (1979)
78 degrees -- all-time record high minimum.