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Strong tornadoes could hit central US days after Mississippi destruction

Tornado forms in the sky. (NOAA/The Chase/Skip Talbot)

Intense and widespread thunderstorms have been forecasted to cross portions of the Midwest starting on Friday — with several tornadoes, some strong and long-track, expected, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The storms are expected to impact portions of the Middle Tennessee Valley and mid-South, and could stretch east to the Lower Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

More specifically, there is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes for eastern Iowa, northwest Illinois, far northeast Missouri, across northwest Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel region, extreme western Kentucky, western Tennessee and far northwest Mississippi.

Threats of more storms come just one week after at least 26 people were killed by severe tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama — and the same areas could be hit again, according to NOAA predictions.

The weather agency has designated two parts of the country as having a Level 4 risk for severe weather, which is deemed as moderate. Some of the larger population areas in the risk area include Memphis, Tenn., Jonesboro, Ark., and three cities in Iowa: Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Iowa City.

Other areas of the Midwest fall under a Level 3 risk, meaning chances are enhanced for storms. This group includes Chicago, Nashville, Tenn., St. Louis and Madison, Wis.

Level 2 risk areas — with only a slight risk for storms — include Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati, as well as Louisville, Ky. and Lexington-Fayette, Ky.

Finally, areas with a Level 1 risk — a marginal risk for storms — include Dallas and Plano, Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus and Toledo in Ohio.

Storms are largely expected to weaken overnight on Friday and into early Saturday morning.

Tags NOAA storms tornadoes weather

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