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    Severe Threat Monday: Nashville, Birmingham, Tupelo

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
    March 20, 2013, 5:09:01 PM EDT

    The unseasonable warmth across the South will go out with a bang -- in the form of severe thunderstorms -- Monday.

    This includes Little Rock, Ark., Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, Tenn., Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala., Tupelo and Greenville, Miss., and Rome, Ga.

    The first round of thunderstorms Sunday evening caused enough quarter-sized hail to cover a roadway in Clever, Mo., which is located in the southwestern part of the state.

    A line of drenching and locally gusty showers and thunderstorms stretched from southeastern Ohio to western Tennessee Monday morning. However, these storms were growing in strength and new storms were firing farther west over Arkansas.

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    Monday afternoon and evening, the threat zone will shift to places from central Mississippi and Alabama to central and eastern Tennessee, southeastern Kentucky, West Virginia and western Virginia. Places north and west of Atlanta in Georgia are also at risk.

    The strongest thunderstorms through Monday evening will be capable of unleashing damaging winds, hail and downpours. The strongest storms could spawn tornadoes.

    "I see isolated storms from central Mississippi to northern Alabama and southeastern Tennessee right now," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said (at 1:50 p.m. CDT Monday). "I would watch these over the next hour or two for possible tornadoes."

    Storms that are isolated from the main line will have the highest risk of producing tornadoes through the evening hours. The best supply of humid air for tornado development lies on the southern edge of the thunderstorms firing.

    Among the communities in Monday's threat zone include London, Ky., Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn., Tupelo and Meridian, Miss., Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala., and Rome, Ga.


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    According to Sosnowski, "Another concern, which affects a more broad area, is the risk of flash, urban and stream flooding."

    Parts of the Ohio Valley have received several inches of rain over the past weekend.

    "The addition rain, combined with saturated ground in the valleys and snowmelt in part of the central Appalachians could be the trigger for flooding, especially once you get into the hilly terrain," Sosnowski said.

    People should be prepared for flooding and washouts along secondary roads spanning small streams and flooding of lowland areas along some of the larger rivers, he added.

    The spark for the severe weather Monday will be a cold front, part of the storm that will return heavy snow to the Northeast, set to erase the April-like warmth that encompassed the South this weekend.

    Another cold front already brought a noticeable drop in temperatures over the weekend across the northern Tennessee Valley, Nashville included, and North Carolina.

    The zone of thunderstorms will shift to the Florida Peninsula on Tuesday, but the severe weather danger will wane as less favorable conditions for severe weather develop.

    Thumbnail image provided by Photos.com.

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