Late Saturday afternoon, radar showed two tornadoes in central Tennessee, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville, one near Linden and the other east of Lexington. There were multiple tornado warnings in effect in the area, with reports of power lines and downed trees, along with structural damage.
The National Weather Service had previously issued a tornado watch until 10 p.m. ET for parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. A tornado watch was also in effect until midnight ET for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, including cities like Little Rock and Shreveport.
Storms that develop during the afternoon and evening have the potential to produce multiple tornadoes, some of which could become intense. Additionally, damaging winds with gusts of up to 75 mph are likely, according to the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center, along with a golf ball or baseball-sized hail.
This weekend’s forecast calls for damaging winds, hail and even tornadoes in some of the same places that were just hit by tornadoes and damaging winds less than 48 hours ago. Saturday’s storms could hamper cleanup efforts in those locations.
Severe storms on Saturday
The Storm Prediction Center says there is a “higher risk” – a level 3 out of 5 – of severe storms in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. There is less risk from central Illinois to north Texas and north Georgia from Saturday through Saturday night.
While a few rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected during the day, the threat of severe weather will be most significant Saturday night and overnight through Sunday.
Current model guidance suggests a line of thunderstorms Saturday night, extending from the Ohio River Valley to near the Gulf Coast. Wind and hail will be the main threats, but tornadoes with some storms are expected, especially in the south central.
The potential for flash flooding on Saturday extends from the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region to West Virginia due to the possible risk of excessive rainfall.
Sunday storms drift east
For Sunday, the storm system is forecast to continue further east, closer to the Atlantic coast. Nearly 60 million people are at risk of severe storms from Delaware to Georgia.
The forecast calls for a “slight risk” (level 2 of 5) of severe storms in cities such as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Charlotte and Atlanta. There is an “increased risk” (level 3 of 5) for Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. Temperatures will be in the 70s and 80s and this warm and moderately humid environment helps fuel thunderstorms.
Another concern for Sunday is flooding. Several states have had several days of rain in the past week, causing the soil to already be saturated. Widespread 2- to 4-inch rains are expected through Monday, with higher local amounts possible in the central south.
The greatest likelihood of flooding this weekend exists in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
CNN’s Jackson Dill contributed to this report.