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Dangerous thunderstorms to rattle southern US through Saturday

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist 
March 25, 2017, 5:55:33 AM EDT


Damaging and drenching thunderstorms will press eastward into the southern United States through Saturday. 

The first round of severe weather erupted over south-central Nebraska, western Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles on Thursday evening. A second round of storms caused damage from Missouri to Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas on Friday evening. 

Several thunderstorms produced hail around the area of Wichita, Kansas on Friday evening with enough hail falling in Halstead, Kansas to cover roads. 

Strong thunderstorms winds severely damaged homes in Pulaski County, Arkansas, and several injuries were reported by law enforcement late Friday night. 

One more round of severe weather will follow into Saturday night, with the threat for dangerous thunderstorms shifting slightly farther east. 

After a lull in severe weather early Saturday, thunderstorms will be reignited as warm, unstable air builds to the east of a storm sweeping across the Mississippi Valley. 

The severe weather danger will shift eastward on Saturday from the central Gulf Coast to the mid-Mississippi Valley. 

All modes of severe weather will be possible, including damaging straight-line wind gusts, large hail, localized flash flooding and even isolated tornadoes. 

Residents from St. Louis to Paducah, Kentucky; Tupelo, Mississippi; New Orleans; and Nashville, Tennessee; could have outdoor plans cut short by rain and thunderstorms. 

At the first rumble of thunder or sight of lightning, seek shelter indoors to avoid a life-threatening situation. 

Motorists along stretches of interstates 10, 20, 40 and 55 should be on alert for ponding of water on roadways and slow travel due to torrential downpours. 

The threat for severe weather will wane as the thunderstorms march eastward across the Tennessee Valley and central Gulf Coast into Saturday night.

Atlanta and Tallahassee, Florida, will more than likely be spared by the worst of the thunderstorms. At most, residents may hear soaking showers and a few rumbles of thunder on Saturday night. 

The next threat for severe weather will take aim at the central Plains once again to end the weekend, with additional rounds of dangerous thunderstorms in store into early April.