Severe weather ongoing across Southern US

Parts of the South that endured severe weather outbreaks in consecutive weeks have just not been able to catch a break. On Saturday, a significant day of severe weather unfolded across the region, with threats set to persist into early Sunday morning.

Numerous occurrences of large hail were reported in Tennessee Saturday morning as severe thunderstorms erupted. Throughout the afternoon and early evening, hail reports started to roll in across Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia. Multiple cars were damaged by the hail up to 2 inches in diameter in Carroll County, Virginia.

The severe weather in Johnson City, Tennessee, delayed a football game between East Tennessee State University and Western California University that was to be held at Greene Stadium by at least an hour and a half.

Strong winds across the South resulted in downed trees. Some buildings in Madison County, North Carolina, were damaged by the wind.

By Saturday afternoon, tornadoes quickly became a threat. As of Saturday evening, there were a total of 15 tornado reports submitted to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). These reports stretched along a focused corridor from northeastern Texas, through Arkansas into western Tennessee.


"This tornado threat could continue after dark Saturday night, adding an extra danger that residents will have to be prepared for," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

On Saturday evening, tornado watches were in effect from eastern Texas to northern Alabama and the western half of Tennessee.

A rain-wrapped tornado was reported in Cross County and Mississippi County in Arkansas. A tornado was also reported on the ground in Cherokee County, Texas, crossing highway 343, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center. Tree and structural damage was observed in the area.

Tornado watches and flash flood watches that were in effect Saturday evening. Check the latest watches and warnings at the AccuWeather Severe Weather Center.

Meanwhile, some communities may deal with several rounds of heavy thunderstorms, which will reduce visibility, escalate the risk of water ponding on roadways and could hamper travel.

The same storms that brought hail to Tennessee Saturday morning continued to threaten the area with torrential downpours. Flash flood watches were in effect across Tennessee and some severe thunderstorm watches were in effect in South Carolina.

As storms continue to develop Saturday night, strong winds could also make for dangerous crosswinds for high profile vehicles, and widespread strong winds could cause tree damage and lead to power outages in the area.

Even in areas that don't see severe weather, any cleanup efforts still ongoing following the previous rounds of severe weather could be slowed.

Severe weather threats will shift eastward across the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states on Sunday.

More bouts of rain may be on the way for the southern U.S. again next week, with the next round of wet weather expected on Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday's damaging weather comes only days after Thursday's destructive event that impacted a similar area. At least six people were killed after long-lived tornadoes touched down and caused devastation across parts of Alabama and western Georgia on Thursday and Thursday night. In total, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center reported a total of 23 tornadoes with one in Mississippi, five in Georgia and 17 in Alabama.

Just a week earlier, a tornado outbreak spawned dozens of twisters, again with Alabama placed squarely in the crosshairs. Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi also faced heavy damage from violent storms. Despite widespread damage, no fatalities were reported. Officials and forecasters credited communities for being prepared and hunkering down during storm and tornado warnings for the miraculous outcome.

The turbulent weather pattern that developed during the middle to latter part of March is expected to continue through the final weekend of the month - and perhaps beyond that, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

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