Severe weather ‘outbreak’ to impact 25 million people in southern US

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A massive storm system moving into the Pacific Northwest on Sunday is predicted to bring severe weather ranging from strong winds and rain to a few tornadoes in the South, meteorologists warn, as weary travelers return home from their Thanksgiving weekend.

About 25 million people in the south-central region of the United States will be affected by severe thunderstorms later Tuesday, according to AccuWeather. The system will likely impact portions of northeastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana, and central and eastern Arkansas first.

The National Weather Service warned of “severe storms with a threat for strong tornadoes, wind damage, and some hail will be possible Tuesday” in the Mississippi Valley. 

“A significant severe-weather event appears likely across parts of this region,” the weather service said on Twitter.

THANKSGIVING WEATHER: Heavy rain to blanket much of the southern U.S. on holiday weekend

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The storm was expected to complicate Thanksgiving and Black Friday plans as heavy and steady rain already blanketed parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas Thursday afternoon. But there were no reports of significant travel delays during the holiday weekend.

Less than 70 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. were canceled on Saturday, according to

“It’s a pretty strong storm system that’s pretty typical this time of year,” National Weather Service meteorologist Gregg Gallina told USA TODAY.

A severe weather “outbreak” is expected late Tuesday along the Mississippi River which will bring an “enhanced risk” and supercells, Gallina added.

The storm will shift across the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Northeast Sunday, according to the weather service. 

The same storm is poised to trigger high winds in the Midwest to the Northeast. The system is forecast to form Tuesday morning and will move across Kansas with snow expected in the North as it enters the Great Lakes region Wednesday, Gallina said.

Due to the colder air, snow and freeze-up in certain regions of the Midwest and Northeast may cause substantial travel delays, according to AccuWeather.

The risks of the dayslong storm on Tuesday are possible power outages and property damage due to strong wind gusts, according to AccuWeather. Wind gust is 50 to 70 mph, with the possibility of reaching up to 75 mph.

The potent system also brought snow to eastern New Mexico and western Texas, lingering through Saturday morning, according to the weather service. With a strong cold front, a storm moving into the Pacific Northwest will bring heavy snow to the Cascade Range and northern Rocky Mountains Sunday and Monday.

Contributing: Claire Thornton, USA TODAY

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