Late Saturday afternoon, radar showed twin tornadoes in middle Tennessee, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville – one near Linden and the other just east of Lexington. There were several tornado warnings in effect in the area, with reports of downed power lines and trees, as well as structural damage.
The National Weather Service had previously issued a tornado watch until 10 p.m. ET for parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. A tornado watch has also been in place until midnight ET for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, including cities like Little Rock and Shreveport.
Storms that develop during the afternoon and evening have the potential to produce several tornadoes, some of which could become intense. Additionally, according to the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, damaging winds with gusts of up to 75 mph are likely, as well as a golf ball to baseball-sized hail.
This weekend’s forecast calls for damaging winds, hail and even tornadoes in some of the same places that were just hit by tornadoes and destructive winds less than 48 hours ago. Saturday’s storms could make cleanup efforts in these areas more difficult.
Severe storms on Saturday
The Storm Prediction Center says there is an “increased risk” – a level 3 in 5 – of severe storms for parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. The risk is lower from central Illinois to northern Texas and northern Georgia from Saturday to Saturday night.
While a few rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected during the day, the threat of severe weather will be greater on Saturday evening and overnight through Sunday.
Current model indications suggest a line of thunderstorms on Saturday evening, stretching from the Ohio River valley to near the Gulf Coast. Wind and hail will be the main threats, but tornadoes are expected with some storms, especially in the south-central.
The potential for flash flooding on Saturday extends from the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region to West Virginia due to the possible risk of excessive precipitation.
Sunday the storms move east
By Sunday, the storm system is expected to follow further east, closer to the Atlantic coast. Nearly 60 million people are at risk from severe storms from Delaware to Georgia.
Forecasts predict a “slight risk” – level 2 out of 5 – for severe storms in cities such as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Charlotte and Atlanta. There is an “increased risk” – level 3 of 5 – for Richmond and Norfolk, Va. Temperatures will be in the 70s and 80s and this warm and moderately humid environment helps fuel the thunderstorms.
Another concern for Sunday is flooding. Several states had several days of rain last week, leading to already saturated soil. Through Monday, widespread rainfall of 2-4 inches is expected, with locally higher amounts possible in the central south.
The highest flood risk this weekend exists in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
CNN’s Jackson Dill contributed to this report.
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