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Severe Storms, Flooding Risk Along I-10 in Louisiana

Thunderstorms with flash flooding, damaging wind gusts and hail are targeting the South Central states Friday. A couple of the strongest storms can produce a short-lived tornado.

Major cities most at risk for severe weather and flash flooding during the afternoon hours include Beaumont, Texas, New Orleans, La. and Mobile, Ala.

People are urged to move indoors, away from windows as the storms approach.

The possibility of showers and thunderstorms Friday will extend parts of New Mexico and Texas to portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.

As the day progresses, warm and humid air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico will interact with a slow-moving cold front dropped southward. New thunderstorms will develop throughout the day and evening as a result.

The bulk of the thunderstorms will form across Texas and Louisiana, where repeat offenders will raise the stakes for flooding.

Just like the past couple of days, large hail and damaging winds will accompany the strongest storms. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, but atmospheric conditions remain unfavorable for a widespread tornado outbreak.

The slow-moving nature of the front will keep some showers and heavier thunderstorms around into Friday night and Saturday across South Texas and along the immediate Gulf Coast, but it should push far enough south to prevent additional flooding across much of Texas and Louisiana.

Any rain will be welcome news in South Texas, where extreme drought conditions persist. McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, have not seen measurable rain in nearly two weeks.

The front will move offshore by Sunday, allowing for drier, less humid air to move in with the return of some sunshine.

Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this story.