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    Major Severe Weather Outbreak Rages Today

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
    April 27, 2011, 12:39:25 AM EDT

    The South Central states are the target of a major outbreak of severe weather, including tornadoes, this afternoon into tonight.

    This outbreak will mark the seventh straight day of numerous violent thunderstorms igniting across the South Central states.

    Similar to recent events, the strongest thunderstorms through tonight will be capable of unleashing damaging winds, window-shattering hail and flooding downpours.

    Tornadoes touching down and causing destruction are a serious concern.

    "There may even be a couple of strong, long-track tornadoes due to the amount of wind shear, or twisting of the winds, present in the atmosphere," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

    Nasty thunderstorms were already starting to erupt in northeastern Texas around mid-afternoon. The worst of the outbreak will target areas from northeastern Texas to far south-central Missouri through the late afternoon, then shift into northern Mississippi and the lower Ohio Valley tonight.

    Cities at greatest risk for the potentially damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes this afternoon and evening include Tyler, Texas; McAlester, Okla.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Springfield, Mo.

    The cities of Monroe, La.; Greenville, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Paducah, Ky., will be threatened during the overnight hours.

    Many of these same cities will be in the midst of a major tornado outbreak late Tuesday into Tuesday night.

    The areas discussed above are where the danger of severe weather today will be greatest, but not confined to.

    Spottier, but still violent thunderstorms have also been preceding the main severe weather outbreak this afternoon along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers from Arkansas northeastward to Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Strong thunderstorms may even ignite southward to Austin, Texas, and northward to St. Louis and Indianapolis this afternoon into tonight.

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