A Severe Weather System Is About to Sweep the U.S. — Here’s What To Expect

About 25 million people in the South-Central U.S. can expect to see severe thunderstorms on Tuesday.

A massive weather system moved into the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, and it’s bringing trouble. Here’s what you can expect.

Severe weather in the South

According to USA Today, 25 million people in the South-Central U.S. will see severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, with northeastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana, and central and eastern Arkansas getting the first taste. According to the National Weather Service, “a threat for strong tornadoes, wind damage, and some hail will be possible” in the Mississippi Valley. 

As the colder air pushes further, the storms will turn eastward into western Mississippi, and head north into southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and western regions of Tennessee and Kentucky.

“This storm system will have the potential to produce severe thunderstorms capable of tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds, and also large hail,” Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the Storm Prediction Center, explained to CNN Weather. “The details regarding areas most at risk from tornadoes will become clearer as Tuesday approaches and smaller-scale trends become more evident.”

The current risk level across the region is a 3 out of 5, but this may increase over the next 24 hours. Either way, it’s advised that anyone potentially in the storm’s path keep a close eye on the weather forecast for updates.

“A few of the strongest storms will carry the potential to produce a tornado,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said per UPI.

Feeling the freeze

A strong cold front has already hit eastern New Mexico and western Texas with snow, and more is expected across the Cascade Range and northern Rocky Mountains today. (We’ve got some tips on how to prepare if you’re in its path.)

There haven’t been too many major transport disruptions as a result so far, however drivers are advised to be extra cautious — and to avoid unnecessary journeys, as visibility will be reduced, and roads could get icy.

Extra danger

The severe storm threat is expected to continue into Tuesday night for southern Illinois down through Louisiana, which adds an additional level of threat. Tornadoes can be very difficult to spot in the dark, and people can be caught off-guard in their sleep. According to UPI, not all the storms expected over the next 48 hours are expected to produce much lightning, so there may be little illumination available. There’s also some risk of flooding on the roads, so drivers would be wise to check ahead before heading out.