Storms Lash Parts of Central U.S.


Thunderstorms and hail blanketed parts of the Central United States on Monday evening as the storm system marched east, the National Weather Service said.

  • Tornado warnings had been in effect for parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, and expired Monday night. More than eight million people in the Central United States were under tornado watches that were to expire at midnight.

  • Thunderstorms are expected to spread into the Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday.

  • Central Ohio will be at risk of tornadoes on Tuesday afternoon, including some that could travel several miles, the National Weather Service said. There will be a lower risk of tornadoes extending south across the Tennessee Valley and even to the Gulf of Mexico.

Large sections of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas were at risk of damage from strong winds and hail greater than two inches in diameter, said the Storm Prediction Center, which is part of the Weather Service.

“The areas most at risk Monday extend from central and eastern Oklahoma into far southeast Kansas and central Missouri,” the center said.

Roughly 24 million people live in areas with an enhanced risk of severe weather — the third level on a five-level scale, according to the Weather Service.

Officials in Denton County in Texas said that storm watchers had reported hail that was 1.5 inches in diameter falling in the area Monday evening. Earlier, NBC DFW, a local television station, reported that residents there were laying tarps on roofs and taping windows to protect their homes from damage.

Tornadoes were possible in some areas, forecasters said, just weeks after tornadoes ravaged Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, where that storm left three people dead.

There had been a tornado warning for St. Louis on Monday evening. Officials there said that no tornadoes had touched down in the city, but noted that there had been reports of minor damage from winds and heavy rain in neighboring communities.

The storm system was expected to strengthen as it continued east into the Ohio Valley, bringing heavy rainfall and the threat of flash flooding, the Weather Service said.

Heavy showers, winds and thunderstorms were expected to spread into the Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday.

The Weather Service issued flood watches for parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and western Maryland through Tuesday.

Rainfall totals were expected to exceed two inches in many areas and reach up to five inches in others.

Forecasters said that they would closely watch the system, as two separate low-pressure centers over the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic were expected to converge by the middle of the week and culminate in a nor’easter.

“That’s sort of going to consolidate into one pretty powerful storm right off the New England coast by the time we get to Thursday morning,” Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said.

The nor’easter could bring six inches or more of snow across the Great Lakes and the Northeast late in the week, the Weather Service said.

John Keefe contributed reporting.


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