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Severe Storm Threat Ohio Valley to Deep South

By By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
March 25, 2012, 3:24:36 AM EDT

A slow-moving storm system will cut into the warmth across the eastern third of the nation today, but it won't come without a cost.

Summerlike showers and thunderstorms will erupt throughout the day and in a scattered nature from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, ruining an otherwise beautiful day in many areas.

Some of the storms are turning severe, especially from the Ohio Valley to the Deep South, with damaging wind gusts and up to tennis ball-sized hail.

The large twisting nature of the weather system responsible for the thunderstorms will aid in tornado formation. Generally, any tornadoes that develop will be weak. However, if they target a populated area, there could still be damage, injuries and loss of life.

So far today, there have been a total of 8 tornado reports.

If a severe storm or tornado-related warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately.

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St. Louis, Mo.; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Birmingham and Huntsville, Ala.; and Rome, Ga., are among the cities at greatest risk for severe storms.

Though conditions are not as favorable, areas farther north including Chicago and Detroit could still see a rattling thunderstorm.


Driving downpours leading to flash flooding will continue to be an issue closer to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Mississippi Delta region into the Deep South. This includes New Orleans, La., as well as Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.

More than an inch of rain could fall in less than an hour in some of the heavier storms, which will quickly lead to water buildup in low-lying, poor drainage and urbanized areas.

While the rain is much-needed in some areas, flash flooding is dangerous and should always be taken seriously. Never drive through areas where water is covered or flowing across the roadway!

The threat for drenching and locally strong storms will shift toward the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday. Damaging winds and hail will be a possibility from the stronger storms that erupt from Virginia to Georgia later in the day.


Latest Storm Reports:

1:26 p.m. CDT: A tornado was reported in Opdyke, Ill.

1:14 p.m. CDT: A tornado touched down in the Heritage Creek area in Fern Creek, Ky., east of Louisville.

1:09 p.m. CDT: Police scanner has reported a tornado touchdown east of Tamaroa, Ill.

12:38 p.m. CDT: Schools in Du Quoin, Ill., have gone into tornado warning mode. Picture of the wall cloud from the Zeigler Elementary school web cam.

12:31 p.m. CDT: @Henry_Margusity tweeted: Tornado on the Ground near Dowell and north of Elkville, Ill. Police are tracking. Golf ball-sized hail was reported near Harrisburg, Ill.

12:14 p.m. CDT: A funnel cloud was spotted 5 miles north of De Soto, Ill.

11:36 a.m. CDT: Public reported a funnel cloud east of Fruitland, Mo.

11:33 a.m. CDT: Fire department reports that a possible tornado touched down briefly 1 mile west of Neelys Landing, Mo.

11:11 a.m. CDT: Tennis ball-sized hail hammered Jackson, Mo.

9:34 a.m. CDT: A tornado damaged a house and a barn 1 mile south of the Troy, Ala., Airport on Oak Grove Road.

9:29 a.m. CDT: A tornado was spotted west of the Troy, Ala., Airport, heading eastward toward the airport.

Content contributed by Meteorologist Meghan Evans

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