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Here We Go Again: 2nd Tornado Outbreak In 5 Days Looms For Midwest

Many of the same areas in the central United States that were hit by violent thunderstorms on Friday will face a similar threat

Many of the same areas in the central United States that were hit by violent thunderstorms on Friday will face a similar threat on Tuesday as an even stronger system takes aim at the region with many modes of severe weather ranging from damaging winds to large hail and powerful tornadoes, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

Like this past Friday, at least 17 states in the middle of the United States are at risk for severe weather and tornadoes on Tuesday. The risk includes all of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa and portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

A forecast of the Midwest. Severe thunderstorms expected to take place around the Chicago area as the range of thunderstorms range from Texas to Michigan. COURTESY/ACCUWEATHER

“Tuesday’s setup will be similar to last Friday’s outbreak with a potent area of low pressure tracking over the Upper Midwest, as well as surging warm, moist air coming up from the south,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Johnson-Levine said. “The combination of warm, moist air and strong winds from the ground on up through the jet stream level of the atmosphere will allow for numerous severe thunderstorms, as well as tornadoes.”

More than two dozen people lost their lives and dozens of others were injured due to severe weather on Friday, according to NBC news. On Friday alone, there were more than 500 filtered reports of severe weather, including 70 reports of tornadoes in the central U.S. An additional 250+ severe weather incidents occurred on Wednesday as storms pushed into the Eastern states. More than 400,000 utility customers were without power in the wake of the storms as of the midday hours on Sunday, according to

As of Sunday morning, 27 of the dozens of reported tornadoes from Friday have already been confirmed by National Weather Service (NWS) officials, including one EF4 tornado in southeastern Iowa with winds estimated to be between 166 and 200 mph.

Confirmed tornado storms in eight states in the map as tornadoes continue to rage in the Midwest and the South. COURTESY/ACCUWEATHER

As severe weather continued on Saturday, AccuWeather meteorologists pushed the area of concern for Tuesday to a high level three days in advance of the severe weather and sooner than the NWS. The team of forecasters, many based in State College, Pennsylvania, and Wichita, Kansas, sounded the alert more than a week in advance and are also concerned the threat level for Tuesday may climb even higher. On Friday, the threat reached an extreme status, which rarely occurs.

Nearly 50 million people are already at risk for severe weather on Tuesday alone, according to the Storm Prediction Center. However, factoring in severe weather that is likely to continue on Wednesday farther to the east, the number may grow to 70 million or more.

The threat of powerful thunderstorms, including tornadoes, will extend well past dark and may persist through Tuesday night in the Midwest, which will add to the danger from the fast-moving severe weather, Johnson-Levine warned.

The greatest risk to lives and property will stem from the likelihood of multiple tornadoes, some of which may be strong and long-lasting. Similar to the setup from last Friday, some of the tornadoes that form may rip along at 40 mph or greater, which will give only seconds for people to seek shelter. AccuWeather meteorologists urge people to take the severe weather threat seriously, have a plan of action in place before the storms arrive, and closely monitor weather bulletins as they are issued.

Straight-line high winds produced by thunderstorms and the strong nature of an advancing cold front are expected to be widespread. Wind gusts ranging between 60 and 80 mph with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph are anticipated with the upcoming severe weather from Tuesday to Tuesday night.

The risk of damaging straight-line winds, hail and at least a few tornadoes will continue on Wednesday, but farther to the east in the Midwest, when compared to Tuesday. Wednesday’s threat zone is most likely from the eastern portion of the Ohio Valley to the eastern Great Lakes region and part of the central Appalachians.

Thunderstorms continue to hit from the South to the Midwest going into Canada. Travelers expected to be on high alert. COURTESY/ACCUWEATHER

There are dozens of major cities and thousands of small towns and rural communities in the potential path of severe weather in the Heartland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Farther south, heavy, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms are also anticipated in an 800-mile-long zone from northern Kentucky the upper Texas coast and southern Louisiana. The greatest threat from these storms from the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf coast will be from large hail, isolated straight-line wind gusts and torrential downpours.

Some of the major cities with airport hubs likely to experience ground stops as severe weather threatens on Tuesday include Chicago; Milwaukee; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa; and Little Rock, Arkansas. The severe weather outbreak could affect airline passengers with flights originating from, connecting through, or as a final destination in these hubs and others. A ripple effect on some flights throughout the nation is possible on Tuesday.

Major cities that AccuWeather has already deemed to be at a moderate risk of severe weather for Wednesday include Detroit, Cleveland and London, Ontario, while Pittsburgh, Toronto and Buffalo, New York, are at some risk of severe storms.

Prior to the main severe weather threat spanning Tuesday and Wednesday, locally severe storms will erupt over portions of the southern Plains into Sunday night.

“While the main storm system will still be well to the west, severe weather is set to get a head start as a small disturbance races along from Texas to the Southeast states into Monday,” Johnson-Levine said.

Some of the most potent of these storms to end the weekend are likely to focus just south of the Red River that borders Texas and Oklahoma. The main threats from these storms will be large hail and strong, straight-line wind gusts. However, a couple of brief tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

Thunderstorms are expected to hit surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth area and into Arkansas and Louisiana. COURTESY/ACCUWEATHER

Gusty to locally severe storms will also focus farther to the east on Monday in portions of Mississippi, Alabama, southwestern Georgia and northern Florida.

A swath of heavy snow will extend north of the severe weather threat from the northern and central Rockies to the northern Plains. This zone’s blizzard conditions are likely over portions of the northern and central Plains.

Rain will reach farther to the north with Tuesday’s storm, compared to the storm from last Friday.

Just southeast of the snow area, and north of the massive zone of severe weather, heavy rain will fall on parts of central Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan.

Much of this area received snowfall that was well above the historical average this winter, and until recently, there were a few feet of snow on the ground. It is possible that the heavy rain and melting snow will initiate stream and river flooding in the region.

Overall outlook of the weather in the rest of the United States and into parts of Canada and Mexico. COURTESY/ACCUWEATHER

This storm may bring the first significant surge of water through the northern part of the Mississippi River, above St. Louis, this spring. Until now, much of the landscape and water has been locked up in a wintry mode. Portions of the lower Mississippi, below St. Louis, have begun to experience surges in water levels since the early part of the winter. More recently, minor flooding has occurred along portions of the Ohio River, with incidents of moderate flooding along some of its tributaries.

AccuWeather’s Long-Range team of meteorologists is expecting major flooding along the Red River of the North later this spring with the potential for at least moderate flooding along the northern portion of the Mississippi River in the coming weeks.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

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