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Record warmth across central US gives way to severe storms, possible tornadoes, then snow

You might forgive Midwesterners for feeling a little whipsawed by the weather.

Record warm temperatures across a swath of the central U.S. are giving way to severe storms, high winds and possible tornados from Texas to Alabama and as far north as Michigan.

The temperature in the central Missouri college town of Columbia reached 77 degrees on Monday, a record high for January. The spring-like conditions came after a spell of freezing rain, and forecasts predict early-morning snow on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says the risks of tornadoes touching down Tuesday is greatest in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana, northwest Mississippi, southeast Missouri and much of Arkansas. That system is expected to hit much of the eastern United States on Wednesday.

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