Home / National News / Tornado Threat Looms Large in Storm-Rattled Midwest and South


(NEW YORK) — Stronger twisters and extreme weather are expected Friday to again hit the Midwest and South. Earlier this week, 33 confirmed tornadoes left 13 people dead.

A large area of the country, stretching from the Ohio Valley into the deep South, is under threat of severe weather Friday morning.  Though it was relatively quiet overnight, the first storms could pop up around daybreak in the St. Louis area, according to Rich Thompson, lead forecaster with the National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

The National Weather Service has indicated a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms for the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.  These storms are capable of producing winds of 75 miles per hour, large hail and long-lived significant tornadoes, according to the NWS.

“That area centered on Tennessee and especially Kentucky looks like it has the potential for some rather long track, what we call super cell storms or tornadoes along and ahead of a cold front,” Thompson said.

“And if that actually occurs this would be the type of scenario where we could have some fairly strong longtrack tornadoes,” he added.  “Today actually has the potential to cause even more problems than just two days ago.”

Meanwhile, authorities in a wide swath of the Midwest continued on Thursday to look for more tornado victims.  Over 300 reports of severe weather in the last 36 hours included golf ball-size hail and damaging thunderstorm winds gusting over 80 mph.

Residents across the seven states where tornadoes touched down over this week — Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee — are also digging out and sharing their stories of surviving the storms that included an EF4 — the second-highest rating given to twisters, which can see peak winds of 170 mph.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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