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Following Friday’s severe weather outbreak responsible for numerous injuries and widespread property damage in the south-central United States, violent storms will continue to shift eastward across the southern United States this weekend.
People spending time outdoors will not only need to remain abreast of the latest severe weather warnings, but also the potential for flash flooding on area roadways and along streams and creeks.
"The thunderstorms will be fueled by a strong temperature contrast, daytime heating and a surge of Gulf of Mexico moisture and enhanced by strong winds and dry air aloft," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Damaging winds and flooding downpours will remain the main dangers of the thunderstorms tracking into Alabama and the Florida Panhandle into Saturday night. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
"Heavy rain following the initial line of gusty thunderstorms will prolong the risk for flooding in many communities," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. "These flooding downpours will not only target the Deep South, but also areas northward to Indiana and Ohio."
Even where flooding does not ensue, the heavy rain will endanger motorists by reducing visibility and raising the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds. Large stretches of interstates 10, 20, 55 and 65 lie in the path of the downpours.
Residents at home or at work when severe weather materializes should seek shelter in an interior room or basement, away from doors and windows, to minimize the risk of injury.
On Sunday, the threat for the violent thunderstorms will focus on the corridor from the Florida Peninsula to the Carolinas and Virginia.
Flooding downpours and damaging winds will once again be the greatest threats. However, there can be a few more tornadoes spawned than on Saturday.
Cities at risk include Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Roanoke, Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. The severe weather will wait until Sunday night to threaten Raleigh and points to the north and east.
Bristol, Tennessee, is expected to escape the severe weather but not the soaking rain. The prospect of the wet weather prompted NASCAR officials to adjust the timing of Sunday's Food City 500 race.
North of the severe weather, the Northeast will face flooding rain and an icy mix into the start of the new week.
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