Texas and the Southeast brace for tornadoes and heavy rain

A powerful storm system capable of producing large hail, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and flooding is expected to hit the south an...

A powerful storm system capable of producing large hail, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and flooding is expected to hit the south and southeast through Tuesday, meteorologists said.

While thunderstorms are common in the region throughout the year, severe weather peaks in March, April and May, according to the National Weather Service.

As a powerful front producing rain and snow over the Rocky Mountains moves eastward, a low pressure wave will develop over the southern high plains, the weather service said. This system will pull moisture north over the plains and the Mississippi Valley from the Gulf of Mexico. As of Monday morning, several areas of the Southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley were at increased risk of severe thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms could produce frequent lightning, strong gusty winds, hail, tornadoes and excessive rainfall that could lead to flash flooding, meteorologists said.

Here is an overview of forecasts by region.

About 13 million people in central and east Texas were at increased risk of severe thunderstorms Monday, including the cities of Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, according to the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

A larger area that described a slight risk of thunderstorms covered several million more people and reached western Louisiana, the southwestern tip of Arkansas and the southernmost part of Oklahoma.

From Monday night through Tuesday morning, parts of Texas could see up to four inches of rain, with higher isolated amounts as well as possible street flooding, the Houston Weather Service said.

Although there was uncertainty over the exact timing of the storms and which areas would receive the heaviest rain, meteorologists told residents to be prepared.

As storms push east Tuesday, more than two million people in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi will be subject to a moderate risk of severe weather. Some of the cities under this warning include Baton Rouge, La., and Jackson, Miss.

More than four million people will be at increased risk from severe storms, encircling the southwestern edges of Louisiana through most of Mississippi and part of Alabama.

The main threat on Tuesday will be tornadoes and damaging winds before and after the storm, the New Orleans Weather Service said, adding that hail over an inch in diameter could develop. Up to three inches of rain was forecast. A tornado outbreak was also likely on Tuesday.

Areas of Mississippi could see winds as strong as 70 miles per hour and hail the size of golf balls, the forecasters said. Similar conditions were expected in other parts of the state.

In Memphis, Tennessee, about three inches of rain was expected. Areas to the east, including Georgia, were expected to see less rain.

Parts of the East Coast will face a marginal and slight risk of severe weather from Wednesday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Texas and the Southeast brace for tornadoes and heavy rain
Texas and the Southeast brace for tornadoes and heavy rain
Newsrust - US Top News
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