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    Severe Storms to Rattle Missouri, Iowa and Illinois

    By By Alex Sosnwski, senior meteorologist
    March 29, 2014, 1:57:46 AM EDT

    Strong to locally severe thunderstorms will mainly be centered around Missouri and Arkansas on Thursday night. The severe weather risk has the potential to span several days.

    "The greatest threat for tornadoes has ended across Missouri, however, some thunderstorms containing localized damaging wind gusts will remain possible throughout the evening hours from southeastern Missouri down into northeastern Texas," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Erik Pindrock said.

    Wind from the storms can be strong enough at the local level to down trees and power lines, while downpours can blind motorists and cause flash flooding. A few of the storms can also bring large hail. While a major outbreak of severe weather is not expected this day, a small number of the storms with this event could produce a tornado.

    As of late Thursday afternoon, a tornado was confirmed file miles east of Clarksdale, Mo., in DeKalb County. There have been multiple reports of large hail in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Other confirmed tornadoes were reported to have touched down north of Jamesport and 6 miles southeast of Gilman City, Mo., according to NWS triained spotters.


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    Cities that have the potential for disruptions and severe weather Thursday evening include Burlington, Iowa, St. Louis, Mo. and Little Rock, Ark.

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    Severe thunderstorms are forecast to erupt on Friday. The new round of storms will overlap some areas hit on Thursday and may extend to new ground farther east. The storms on Friday will also carry the risk of a few tornadoes.


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    According to Severe Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The storms later on Friday and Friday night can reach portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, while potentially bringing a second round of severe weather to portions of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas Friday afternoon."

    The storms on Friday have the potential to be more extensive and more violent.

    According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydnowski, "By then the warm and humid air will be established over the lower Mississippi Valley region."

    The severe weather threat area will shift to part of the Atlantic coast on Saturday.


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    "Locally severe thunderstorms are possible from the central and eastern portions of the Carolinas to southern Georgia on Saturday," Kottlowski said.

    The severe weather season has gotten off to a sluggish start this year, due to the prevalence of cold air in the Central and Eastern states. The number of tornadoes so far this year is well below the 2005-13 average. Preliminary tornado reports for the year were less than 50 as of March 25, 2014, compared to a 10-year average-to-date of approximately 150 tornadoes. However, even in a year with a low count of tornado incidents there is the potential for widespread damage in some communities and a few major outbreaks.

    A storm system is forecast to track to the east over the central Plains. Warm, moist air is forecast to surge over this region on southerly winds ahead of a push of dry, cooler air.

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