A potent storm may fuel a severe weather outbreak over the central United States early next week, including on Groundhog Day.
A strong storm system will move in from the Pacific Ocean over California late this weekend.
In addition to bringing consequences from heavy rain and mountain snow to California and interior West, the storm could bring dramatic and dangerous weather conditions as it pushes east of the Rockies early next week.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, a buildup of warmth will take place early next week over the southern Plains ahead of the storm.
"The warmup and strong winds aloft associated with the system will help to fuel heavy, gusty thunderstorms that could evolve into a severe weather outbreak perhaps centered on the Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys on Tuesday," Margusity said.
While the exact timing and extent of severe weather are not set in stone at this point, early signs are pointing to the threat for a few isolated tornadoes. Damaging winds and flash flooding could be more widespread impacts of the severe weather.
Another aspect of the storm will be snow and wind on its northwestern flank.
States that could face severe weather during part of the period from Tuesday through Tuesday night include Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
The severe weather threat could extend as far to the north as St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati and as far to the south as New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, for a time on Tuesday and/or Tuesday night.