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    Severe Threat: Eastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi

    July 21, 2012; 5:40 AM ET
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    Photo of lightning courtesy of Photos.com

    Severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds and torrential downpours will ignite across the lower Mississippi Valley this afternoon and tonight.

    Many of the same locations across parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and the central Gulf Coast that had powerful thunderstorms on Friday will be in for another round of storms later this afternoon.

    Cities located in the threat zone for severe thunderstorms include Beaumont, Texas, as well as Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge, La. Residents from eastern Texas to southwestern Mississippi will need to keep watch for rapidly changing weather conditions.

    The greatest threats will be strong, damaging winds and blinding downpours.

    Thunderstorm wind gusts to 60 mph and greater will be possible with the strongest storms. Wind speeds of that magnitude can cause significant damage, including downed trees and power lines. Strong winds can also blow roofs off houses and blow out windows.

    Drenching downpours can make driving especially difficult. Those who will be traveling along I-10 in eastern Texas and southern Louisiana this afternoon should use extreme caution and slow down if caught in a heavy downpour.

    Moreover, heavy rain can lead to flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Never drive across a flooded roadway. Turn around to seek an alternative route to your destination.

    Thunderstorms will explode this afternoon south of a nearly stationary frontal boundary draped across the region. Abundant moisture courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico combined with daytime heating will lead to the eruption of potentially dangerous thunderstorms.

    Heed all watches and warnings and have a plan in place before severe weather threatens. Know where to go and what to do in order to keep you and your family safe.

    As always, continue checking back with AccuWeather.com for all of the latest severe weather updates.

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