At least 17 reported tornadoes hit Central US during severe weather outbreak

(HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky.) — A major storm moving through the central U.S. brought at least 17 reported tornadoes to parts of the central U.S., eight in Iowa, three in Arkansas, one in Missouri, four in Illinois and one in Wisconsin.

In Jonesboro, Arkansas, a violent tornado did damage in the town with six reported injuries. In total there have been at least 190 reports of severe weather in the last 24 hours from the Midwest to the South to the Ohio Valley. The same powerful storm system was responsible for a 90 mph wind gust in Henderson County, Kentucky.

The storm also brought very heavy rain with widespread rainfall totals of 1 to just over 2 inches of rain from Iowa to Pennsylvania.

Flash flooding was reported on roadways and surrounded parked cars in parts of the Cleveland metro area overnight. The system also is responsible for bringing snow from Colorado to Minnesota with 10 inches of new snow reported in western Nebraska.

As we head into the last days of March and begin April, we see the severe weather begin to ramp up dramatically. The U.S. averages around 80 tornadoes during March with the greatest chances across the southern Gulf Coast.

April averages 155 tornadoes through the U.S. with multiple hotspots including the southern Gulf, the central and southern Plains and parts of the Midwest. May, ultimately, is the peak time for severe weather in the U.S. with an average of 276 tornadoes.

This morning, radar is showing heavy snow still falling in parts of Minnesota and then two distinct areas of rain and thunderstorms. One area stretches across the Great Lakes into the western Appalachians where locally heavy rain could cause more flash flooding this morning.

The other area is a more pronounced squall line that is moving through the Tennessee Valley and parts of the Gulf Coast. There is still a tornado watch for parts of Tennessee and Alabama but the watch will expire shortly as the tornado threat is winding down.

Behind the cold front, winds will be gusting up to 45 mph in spots and therefore wind advisories have been issued from northeast Kansas to Ohio for today.

This storm will slide eastward today and we could see some strong thunderstorms moving into the western Appalachians and parts of the Great Lakes.

The squall line in the south will fizzle out during the day and there is a possibility some more storms will fire up in parts of the mid-Atlantic and Pennsylvania, but the threat will be only marginal. Any storms that do develop today could have some gusty winds and hail.

Unfortunately, a couple of disturbances will move in from the south and west by tomorrow and another quick moving storm system will bring the next severe threat to the south by Monday afternoon and evening. Heavy rain is expected from Kansas to the Gulf Coast with some strong to severe storms expected in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Storms tomorrow could have damaging winds, large hail, and brief tornadoes.

Locally, 1 to 2 inches of heavy rain could cause some flash flooding in parts of Arkansas as this storm moves through the region.

By Tuesday, the threat will slide eastward bringing some heavy rain across parts of the southeast. The severe risk region will be from southern Alabama to southeast Georgia and parts of the Florida panhandle. Once again the threat will be damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes.

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