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Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain on tap for southern U.S. through Thursday

Nine out of 14 states voting on Super Tuesday could see inclement weather including severe thunderstorms and torrential rainfall.
A satellite image shows weather over the continental United States on March 2, 2020.
A satellite image shows weather over the continental United States on March 2, 2020.NOAA

A wet and stormy first week of March is in the forecast, especially for the southern United States where the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has warned of severe storms through Thursday.

Voters in at least 9 of the 14 states could experience inclement weather on Super Tuesday, potentially affecting voter turnout.

Some showers will also be possible in the Northeast later Monday and Tuesday. But with little concern for flooding and severe thunderstorms in that region, most of the attention will be focused on the South.

On Monday, 4 million people are at risk for severe thunderstorms capable of producing hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The threat area includes parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and western Tennessee, where residents of Memphis and Nashville will need to have their eyes on the sky.

On Tuesday, 6 million people will be under a similar severe thunderstorm risk including the Texas cities of Waco, Austin and San Antonio. Damaging winds and hail will again be the main risks, but isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out. In addition to the severe weather, heavy rain will move back into the Southeast, ramping up flood concerns as the region is still saturated from what was a top-10 wettest February for many cities.

On Wednesday, the severe threat shifts east and will be concentrated along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Mississippi and Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.

On Thursday, 4 million people will yet again be under the risk of severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes, this time even farther east across portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia.

Rainfall totals Monday through Wednesday will be 2-5 inches from central Texas across the Southeast. More than 80 river gauges remain in flood stage across parts of the South, so river levels will need watching as more heavy rain hits the region.