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Heavy, Gusty Storms to Hit Florida, Lower Mississippi Valley

Two areas of gusty and locally severe thunderstorms will bring locally dangerous conditions and disruptions to daily activities in the South Tuesday.

As the storms rumble through large metro areas such as Orlando, Tampa and Miami, Fla.; Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Alexandria, La., flight delays are possible and poor visibility and runoff can slow traffic on roadways.

Thunderstorms will ramp up ahead of an advancing cool front over central and South Florida Tuesday. Those heading to theme parks, the beach or the golf course should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.

According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "The greatest threats from the Florida storms will be flooding downpours, frequent lightning and strong wind gusts."

A couple of the strongest storms could produce a short-lived tornado.

"Motorists should be on the lookout for high water on roadways and golfers should quickly exit courses if they hear thunder," Mancuso said.

The storms can affect the central counties of the peninsula at any time during the day, but they will hold off until the afternoon and evening hours in the southern counties.

Meanwhile, a pocket of chilly air high above the ground will allow showers and thunderstorms to erupt in portions of Louisiana, Mississippi Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, the western part of the Florida Panhandle and southern parts of Missouri and Kentucky.

"The afternoon and evening storms over the lower Mississippi Valley have the potential to bring damaging wind gusts, brief blinding downpours and hail ranging in size from peas to marbles," Mancuso said.

A couple of the strongest storms can produce golf ball-sized hail.

The storms will diminish to showers and drift toward the southern Atlantic Seaboard Tuesday night, including Augusta National Golf Course, site of the 2014 Masters.