Severe Weather, Including Tornadoes and Large Hail, Threatens Parts of U.S.

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Large powerful storm systems that could unleash tornadoes, thunderstorms and hail were expected to pound the Central United States on Monday before making their way east, the National Weather Service said.

Large sections of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas were at risk of damage from strong winds and hail greater than two inches in diameter, the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.

“The areas most at risk Monday extend from central and eastern Oklahoma into far southeast Kansas and central Missouri,” the center said.

Tornadoes were possible in some areas, forecasters said, just weeks after tornadoes ravaged Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, where the storm left three people dead.

Roughly eight million people live within areas with an enhanced risk of severe weather — the third level on a five-level scale, according to the Weather Service. Tulsa, Okla., St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., and Evansville, Ill., are among the areas facing an enhanced risk on Monday.

The storm system was expected to strengthen as it continued east on Monday night into the Upper Ohio Valley, bringing heavy rainfall and the threat of flash flooding, the Weather Service said.

Heavy showers, winds and thunderstorms were expected to spread into the Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday.

Flood watches for parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and western Maryland were issued through Tuesday evening, according to the Weather Service.

Rainfall totals were expected to exceed two inches in many areas and reach up to five inches locally in others.

Forecasters said they would watch the system closely, as two separate low pressure centers over the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic were expected to converge by the middle of the week and to culminate in an early April nor’easter.

“That’s sort of going to consolidate into one pretty powerful storm right off the New England coast by the time we get to Thursday morning,” Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said.

The nor’easter could bring six inches or more of snow across the Great Lakes and the Northeast late in the week, the Weather Service said.


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