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Dangerous, damaging storms to sweep across southeastern US through the weekend

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The most far-reaching of two rounds of severe weather this weekend will sweep across the southeastern United States into Sunday night.

The storms during the second half of the weekend will follow episodes of severe weather in parts of the Southern states early this weekend. A tornado caused extensive damage in the town of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, early Saturday morning.

The remnants of one batch of storms will continue to push eastward across parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida in the form of drenching downpours, locally damaging winds and isolated tornadoes into Saturday evening.

Sat severe

New thunderstorms will erupt farther to the west late on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night over the central Gulf coast and part of the lower Mississippi Valley.

Initially, this new batch of storms can produce damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado or two. However, as a potent storm system moves into the region, the storms will ramp up in intensity on Sunday and will likely organize into a solid line.

"We expect the thunderstorms to organize into a squall line on Sunday," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos.

Static SE US Sunday Severe

"The squall line will carry an elevated risk of damaging winds and sudden, torrential downpours along with the potential for a few spin-up tornadoes," Avalos said.

The squall line is likely to push eastward at a fast pace, perhaps reaching 40 mph at times.

People from Alabama to northern and central Florida to Georgia and South Carolina should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Loose outdoor items should be brought inside or secured to prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles should a severe storm hit.

Winds from the storms can be strong enough to down trees, cause sporadic power outages and damage roofs in some communities. In the strongest storms, damage can be more severe with life-threatening conditions possible.

Sudden windswept rain can blind motorists and cause water to collect on roads. Motorists should slow down to a safe speed in order to lower the risk of hydroplaning.

The storms will not only be a concern for land areas, but also coastal waters around the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

Small craft operators may want to keep their vessels in port until after the storms move through.

Flight delays are likely as the line of storms sweeps from Atlanta to Tampa and Orlando, Florida, as Sunday progresses.

By Sunday night, the severe threat will shift into eastern North Carolina and South Florida, including Miami.

The main severe threat during Sunday night will include damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours, although the potential will remain for an isolated tornado or two.