Tornadoes, Strong Thunderstorms Could Slam Midwest, South

Saturday, 26 Apr 2014 05:56 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Tornadoes and strong thunderstorms are predicted for a wide section of the nation on Sunday, with a weather pattern that is putting millions of people in the path of the storms.

Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of WeatherUnderground.com, says the severe weather is being spawned by a strong low pressure system that could generate large hail, damaging winds, and a few strong tornadoes.

"The most dangerous day appears to be Sunday," said Masters, when the National Weather Service has issued a moderate risk forecast for severe weather over Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.

"The action will begin Saturday afternoon along a swath from Central Texas northwards into Oklahoma and Kansas, but at present, Saturday's threat warrants only a 'slight risk' classification," said Masters. "This weekend's severe weather outbreak has the potential to be the most dangerous one of this relatively quiet 2014, which has yet to spawn a killer tornado."

The National Weather Service said that another "concentrated corridor for high-end severe risk" appears to be centered over the lower Mississippi valley to the mid-South states on Monday.

The entire danger zone, though also encompasses much of the midwest on Sunday, and in the southern states on Monday the "setup could yield several supercells with strong tornadoes and large hail."

Friday, possible tornadoes were reported in eastern North Carolina, reports NBC News,  resulting in damages to some buildings and residences, along with downed trees and power lines.

In addition, isolated tornadoes were predicted late Saturday before the system heads east through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas Sunday, carrying sustained winds of 135 miles per hour, the Weather Service said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Saturday that people in the Plains states should keep an eye on the storm system, and it is monitoring the situation.

The 2014 tornado season has gotten off to its slowest start since 1953, reports NBC, , mainly because of lingering cold temperatures in April, and so far this year, there have been no tornado-caused deaths, marking the safest seasonal start since 2002.

But Weather Channel severe weather expert Greg Forbes said the weather is starting to get "more favorable" for tornadoes.

The stormy weather is expected to head through the Ohio Valley and South on Monday and Tuesday, and a stretch from Iowa to Louisiana also is at risk for tornadoes early in the week.

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