The stage is set for severe thunderstorms to threaten some communities across East Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley on Monday afternoon, kicking off what promises to be a stormy week.
Places from southern Arkansas to western Louisiana and East Texas will be under the gun for a handful of strong thunderstorms Monday afternoon, while snow returns to the Great Lakes.
12:15 p.m. CST Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 Update: Storms are beginning to fire north and west of Houston, Texas. Thunderstorms will continue to strengthen into the afternoon hours as they also spread out to the north and east. The worst of the thunderstorms are expected to fire between 2-5 p.m. CST.
Many of the strongest thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and blinding downpours. The strongest storms could spawn isolated tornadoes.
If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately.
The thunderstorms should organize into a solid line by nightfall and then race eastward across eastern Louisiana, Mississippi and into far western Alabama during the overnight hours. Damaging winds and downpours will be the main threats.
Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., Jackson and Gulfport, Miss., and Mobile, Ala., are among the communities in the path of Monday night’s violent thunderstorms. Hattiesburg, Miss., which was struck by a tornado a week ago, is also at risk.
While a widespread outbreak of severe weather is not expected later Monday, residents should not let their guard down. It only takes one violent thunderstorm or isolated tornado to cause damage and put lives in harm’s way.
In addition, Monday’s severe weather is just the start of a stormy week for East Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley as AccuWeather.com meteorologists are concerned for more numerous violent thunderstorms to erupt on Thursday.
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