Thunderstorms, possible tornadoes cause damage and injuries in Southeast; snow into rain for East Coast

By Doug G. Ware and Shawn Price  |  Updated Feb. 16, 2016 at 1:08 AM
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SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Severe thunderstorms, large hail and possibly even tornadoes could strike in the Southeast as a strong storm system moves toward the Atlantic Coast, forecasters said Monday.

The severe weather in the Southeast is part of a larger weather system sweeping over nearly the entire eastern United States, from Louisiana to the Canadian border.

Thunderstorms, strong winds and large hail scattered across parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi Monday. Forecasters said the low pressure system could even spawn a few tornadoes.

The severe weather, even possible tornadoes caused reported injuries in Louisiana and property damage in at least 20 counties in Mississippi as well as some minor injuries.

Areas from southeast Louisiana to the Florida panhandle were listed as having "severe threat" risk from the storm system, which is expected to continue its move east and northward toward the Atlantic Coast.

A precipitation map by the National Weather Service indicates severe weather in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Monday. Severe thunderstorms, large hail and possible tornadoes were in the forecast for Monday as the storm system moves toward the Atlantic Coast. Image courtesy National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"Widely scattered severe thunderstorms will continue over parts of the central and eastern Gulf Coast states into tonight, and possibly develop along the Carolina Coast early Tuesday," the NWS said.

The thunderstorms will be accompanied by heavy rains and possible flooding, as well, meteorologists said.

Severe weather was also forecast for the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic states, as well as the Great Lakes region.

"Heavy snow possible over the Lower Great Lakes and the Northern Appalachians," the NWS said in a short-term forecast Monday. "Rain/Freezing rain possible from the Southern Appalachians to the Northeast.

"Multiple upper-level disturbances over the eastern half of the country will come together form a deep upper-level trough over the eastern third of the country by Tuesday evening into Wednesday."

Several inches of new snow fell in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area over the weekend and the greater New York City area and New Jersey endured snow, ice and frigid temperatures. A winter weather advisory is in effect until midnight local time Monday.

The NWS said snow will turn into freezing rain later Monday and ice accumulation could reach 1-inch in thickness. The continuing cold follows a record frigid weekend in the Northeast that included forecaster warnings of "potentially life threatening" conditions.

Record cold has also chilled over New England, ahead of a weather pattern that is expected to bring warmer temperatures to the Northeast next week.

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