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Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US

Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US


  • Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US
  • A major tornado-spawning storm system treks across the Central US, threatening more damage ahead after battering Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan
  • At least five tornadoes were reported Tuesday, including two in Iowa and three in Illinois, where several buildings, including a gas station, were damaged in the town of Colona and multiple semi-trucks blown over along the I-88.
Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US

Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US

A major storm system that produces tornadoes is traversing the Central US, endangering over 62 million people with severe weather on Wednesday. The storm has already caused damage in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan, including the destruction of several buildings and semi-trucks being knocked over along the I-88. 

On Tuesday, more than 100 reports of hail, some as big as baseballs, were received mainly from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan. Davenport, Iowa, experienced 4-inch hail, while Oswego had slightly smaller hail. 

Overnight, dangerous tornadoes were still possible in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and southern Missouri, where 32 people died from last week’s severe weather. The National Weather Service in St. Louis reported a “confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado” near Glenallen, Missouri, early Wednesday, expected to pass north of the city.

Early Wednesday, a tornado warning was issued for Hardy, Arkansas, where a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” was reported by the weather service. Hardy is situated about 60 miles northwest of Jonesboro, Arkansas. 

The area was included in a tornado watch that extended until 9:00 a.m. and covered over 2 million people in parts of central and northern Arkansas, southern Illinois, and southeastern Missouri. Little Rock, Arkansas, which suffered severe damage last week and is still clearing debris, was also included in the watch.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. urged residents to be prepared and stay safe, especially in the neighborhoods that have already been hit hard. Another tornado watch was issued until noon for portions of eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas, and northeastern Texas, including Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and Texarkana. The Storm Prediction Center warned of severe hazards, including wind, hail, and tornadoes, due to thunderstorms forming along two merging cold fronts.

Residents from northeastern Arkansas to northern Ohio and central Michigan, including Detroit and Memphis, are forecast to brace for strong tornadoes, damaging wind gusts, and large hail, as an enhanced risk of severe storms (level 3 of 5) is anticipated.

Over 62 million are at risk of severe weather across Central US

Weather Conditions

Wednesday morning’s storms are predicted to continue and potentially redevelop in the afternoon. The most significant danger will be in the Great Lakes area, including Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, where strong tornadoes could occur from late morning until early evening. The weather service cautioned that weather conditions in these regions could be life-threatening, and people should stay alert for Advisories, Watches, and Warnings issued by their local NWS Weather Forecast Office.

Moreover, eastern Texas to southern Ohio may experience excessive rainfall, with a possibility of 1-3 inches of accumulation.

Condition of Northern Plains

While tornadoes threaten the Midwest and South, the Northern Plains are anticipated to face winter storms, with a blizzard predicted to hit the region on Wednesday. Recently, over 100 miles of Interstate 90 had to shut down due to “blizzard conditions.” 

The National Weather Service projects heavy snow in the northern Rockies to the northern Plains, and some areas could see over two feet of snow, putting April snowfall records at risk. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds will lead to blizzard conditions with almost zero visibility, making travel unsafe. 

Due to the strong winds, cold temperatures will feel even colder, leading to life-threatening wind chills below zero in the northern Plains, according to the National Weather Service. The North Dakota Department of Transportation has warned that even emergency crews should stay off the roads because of dangerous conditions.

“If you don’t need to drive, stay off the roads. It’s dangerous for you and emergency crews. If you’re stranded, crews may not be able to reach you,” the transportation department tweeted.

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