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Severe weather to target Central, Southern states next week

By
Mary Gilbert, Accuweather.com

Following a brief reprieve from widespread severe weather in the United States, the threat for severe thunderstorms will ramp up again early next week.

On Friday, severe thunderstorms tore through portions of the southern Plains and the lower Mississippi Valley, and damaging winds and hail hammered the regions into early Saturday morning.

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In addition to a combined total of more than 120 damaging wind and hail reports, there were at least three preliminary tornado reports by the Storm Prediction Center on Friday evening. A tornado spun up in Bennington, Okla., and in Ivanhoe, Texas. A "weak and brief" landspout was also spotted over an open field just east of Malta Bend, Mo.

The threat for severe weather will shift eastward and push into the southern Appalachians on Saturday.

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Storms capable of producing localized flash flooding, damaging winds up to an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 70 mph and isolated tornadoes will impact an area stretching from just east of Nashville into portions of Georgia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, on Saturday.

The threat for severe thunderstorms will diminish early on Sunday as the storm system tracks northeast. This storm will bring periods of soaking rain and a bit of snow to the Northeast from Sunday through Monday.

No widespread areas of severe thunderstorms are expected for the second half of the weekend. However, the break for those in the Southern states will be short-lived.

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"A storm system will dive southward from Canada into the Midwest early next week and will become a focal point for another round of severe weather on Tuesday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

A cold front associated with this system will stretch from the Midwest through the middle Mississippi Valley and into eastern Texas, by Tuesday afternoon.

"While many storm systems have targeted the South with severe weather in recent weeks, the threat for feisty thunderstorm development may extend farther northward into the Midwest," Buckingham said.

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Gusty thunderstorms are expected to develop along this cold front as it advances eastward later on Tuesday afternoon.

Wind flow at the lower levels of the atmosphere will become more southerly on Tuesday over the southern Plains, as well as the lower and middle Mississippi Valley, allowing the storm system to use warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico as a fuel source.

Any thunderstorm that develops in this warm and moist environment will have no trouble tapping into strong winds aloft, forcing damaging winds to the surface.

At this time, all of the typical severe weather impacts are fair game from Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday morning. Damaging wind gusts, torrential downpours, hail and a few tornadoes will be possible.

The threat for severe weather is predicted to shift eastward on Wednesday as the storm system pushes over the Great Lakes and a cold front digs through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, and into the Southeast.

As the system pushes eastward, it may lose out on some of the Gulf moisture, causing it to weaken slightly. But, it will continue to produce severe thunderstorms over already storm-weary areas.

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