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Fox News Weather Center

Severe Storms to Threaten 50 Million From Ohio Valley to Gulf Coast Saturday

The risk of severe weather will shift eastward on Saturday to parts of the Midwest and South, home to approximately 50 million people.

The severe weather will follow violent storms over the southern Plains and Texas from Friday.

People from southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southern Indiana to Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, part of South Carolina, the Florida Panhandle and southeastern Louisiana will need to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions on Saturday. Seek shelter indoors, away from windows, as storms approach.

The severe weather risk is part of a large storm system that will spoil outdoor plans and hinder travel during a large part of the weekend from the Midwest to the South.

According to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Becky Elliot, "Saturday holds the potential to be even more volatile than Friday with discrete and tornadic supercells possible."

Many of the storms will bring the risk of large hail, damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours.

Tornadoes can occur with the strongest storms.

"The Tennessee and lower Ohio valleys look to be the bullseye for the greatest risk of tornadoes and hail the size of golf balls or larger," Elliot said.

"Farther south, the severe threat will be mainly in the morning hours from eastern Texas, Mississippi and southern Louisiana as a complex of thunderstorms with strong winds and heavy rain moves along," Elliot said.

Farther east, most storms will wait until later in the day to fire from parts of eastern Alabama to Georgia and South Carolina. Storms in this area could bring strong wind gusts, large hail and blinding downpours, along with the risk of a couple of tornadoes.

Along with the threat of locally violent storms is the potential for flash and urban flooding.

The stormy pattern could bring 1-3 inches of rain to some communities in a matter of a few hours.

This amount of rainfall can easily push small streams out of their banks and turn streets with poor drainage into raging rivers.

Remember never to drive through flooded roadways as the road may have been washed away beneath and a foot of rushing water can push your vehicle downstream. Driving through flooded areas puts not only you and your passengers but also your would-be rescuers at risk.