Dangerous storms to threaten Southeast, Ohio Valley
A Walmart employee shared this video of people screaming for shoppers in the parking lot to run to the shelter of the store as debris flew through the air.
A major multiday severe weather outbreak that spawned tornadoes in Texas and points east will continue in the Southeast into Wednesday night, AccuWeather forecasters say. The day will bring another round of severe weather, once again including the potential for a few tornadoes, from northern Florida to eastern Virginia and perhaps southeastern Maryland. A second batch of severe thunderstorms is also anticipated hundreds of miles farther to the northwest.
"The risk of severe thunderstorms at midweek [in the Southeast states] may be short-lived compared to prior days during the outbreak since the atmospheric energy that was producing the dangerous conditions to this point will be departing," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.
Severe thunderstorms that passed over Mississippi, Louisiana and southern Alabama Tuesday night and weakened Wednesday morning are likely to gain strength farther to the east into Wednesday evening. In locations farther north in Georgia, storms were not considered severe but were producing drenching rain. Motorists and pedestrians in the Atlanta metro area had to deal with torrential downpours, locally gusty winds and thunder and lightning during the morning commute.
Into Wednesday night, as the risk of locally severe thunderstorms continues in parts of northern Florida and southeastern Georgia, thunderstorms will increase in strength over central and eastern portions of the Carolinas and southern Virginia.
People in the Southeast should be prepared for disruptive to locally dangerous weather conditions including strong wind gusts, hail and flash flooding. A couple of tornadoes and waterspouts are not out of the question.
In addition to the southeastern United States, AccuWeather forecasters are sounding the alert for a secondary area of severe weather Wednesday afternoon and evening. Severe thunderstorms are forecast to fire up across a portion of the Midwest with Ohio smack in the middle of the area of concern.
A wide swath from eastern Indiana to eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania will be at risk for storms that can produce damaging wind gusts, torrential rainfall and even an isolated tornado or two. Residents of major metros like Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh will all need to keep an eye to the sky for rapidly changing conditions well into Wednesday evening.
In response, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for much of eastern Ohio, including the city of Canton, until 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Other residential areas were also part of the watch, including Charleston and Pittsburgh. Parts of central and northern Ohio, such as Columbus and Toledo, were issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
There is the possibility of another spike in severe weather along part of the Atlantic coast on Thursday if a storm forms along a cold front that slows and stalls over the Southeastern states, forecasters say.
"At this time, locally damaging winds and brief, flooding downpours appear to be the main threat with any stronger storm that roars to life on Thursday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.
However, like on Wednesday, a few tornadoes may spin up along the coast anywhere from southeastern Virginia through Florida.
At the very least, showers and thunderstorms will stretch from portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the Florida Peninsula on Thursday.
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