Fox News Weather Center

Severe thunderstorms to target Ohio Valley to Gulf Coast into Friday


Communities from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast will be at risk of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes and damaging winds into Friday.

“Over the past week, severe weather has been rather common over the Southern tier states and the threat for this dangerous weather will continue into Friday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Brown said.

The same communities that were hit hard by severe thunderstorms on Monday will face another round of severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

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A line of showers and thunderstorms will rapidly develop along and just east of the Mississippi River from eastern Missouri and southern Illinois to eastern Louisiana during Thursday afternoon.

"Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi, will face these thunderstorms during Thursday afternoon and [the storms will] track eastward toward Nashville during the evening," Brown said.

These storms will also impact the cities of Indianapolis, New Orleans, Birmingham, Alabama, and St. Louis.

The greatest threat for tornadoes will occur from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening. Damaging winds and flash flooding will become the primary threats from Thursday night into Friday.

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Anyone traveling across these areas through Friday will need to be on alert for rapidly changing weather conditions and heed all watches and warnings.

Motorists are urged to reduce travel in any heavy downpour to limit the threat of hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Never park your vehicle under a bridge or block major highways to prevent damage to your vehicle in any severe thunderstorm. Doing so puts all other motorists behind you in danger.

The severe threat will shift into the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida on Friday. However, the severity of these storms is expected to be much less than on Thursday. Regardless, the strongest storms could produce small hail and strong wind gusts capable of knocking down trees and power lines.

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This same storm system was responsible for severe weather across the southern Plains earlier in the week.

Several tornadoes touched down in Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday, while an EF1 tornado touched down near downtown Houston on Wednesday morning.

Additional episodes of severe weather will continue across the Southern states into the first half of April.

"A renewed threat for severe weather is likely this weekend into early next week from the southern Plans to the Southeast," Brown said.