According to AccuWeather.com, Meteorologists have elevated the risk for large, destructive tornadoes in the United States Midwest to "HIGH," with evening risks of numerous tornadoes to increase over the next 12 hours from Indiana to Northern Louisiana. It has also been forecast that the heartland thunderstorm threat is expected to reach parts of the East and interior South.
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Deadly thunderstorms erupted over the southern Plains on Tuesday. These storms will shift eastward into tonight, focusing their fury from lower Michigan to northern Louisiana. A swath from eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi to the central portions of Illinois and Indiana will be in the highest risk area for devastating tornadoes into tonight. This elevated tornado risk area includes the cities of Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville and Indianapolis. Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski advised on Tuesday, that "if a tornado warning is issued, immediately seek shelter. The safest areas are a storm shelter, basement or interior room in the lowest level of your home in that order." Besides tornadoes, thunderstorms into tonight could produce wind gusts well past 60 mph that will be capable of downing trees and power lines, damaging buildings and toppling tractor trailers. Enough hail could fall to cover the ground in a few locations. A couple of the thunderstorms could bring hail the size of baseballs. Torrents of rain could send flash flood waters flowing over city streets and small streams quickly out of their banks...
The storm system responsible for the tornado carnage in the Heartland this week will reach part of the East and interior South on Thursday. While not forecast by AccuWeather.com meteorologists to be nearly as ferocious as the storms spanning Sunday through Wednesday, severe weather will stretch from southern Ontario to tornado-weary Alabama Thursday and Thursday night. It is likely the ongoing severe weather outbreak during the calendar day Thursday will produce only a few tornadoes. However, there is still the risk of such a storm hitting a populated area. The overall severe weather and tornado threat area continues to press farther east into more densely populated regions. Millions of people lie outside of some of major population centers in the path of Thursday's storms ranging from Toronto to Pittsburgh to Birmingham. Because of this, even though the thunderstorm intensity and corresponding tornado strength and number may be several orders of magnitude less than earlier this week, a substantial number of lives are at risk along with a large amount of property.