EXTREME WEATHER: Tornadoes, Hail, Rain Pummel Several U.S. Midwest And Southern States – Damaging Storms To Strike Cleveland To Atlanta Friday Evening! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 04, 2014 – UNITED STATES – Thunderstorms were crawling across a large swath of the Midwest and South on Thursday, spawning suspected tornadoes in Missouri and Texas, and slamming several states with large hail and heavy rain that prompted a handful of water rescues.

A strong storm sent a tree through his home and garage, landing on a car on Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Belleville, Ill.
Portions of southern Illinois are being told to brace for a second round of potentially volatile storms after a possible
tornado hit neighboring Missouri. The National Weather Service says the storm that swept across the St. Louis region
Thursday morning caused no injuries or significant damage in the metropolitan area’s Illinois suburbs.
(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Stephanie S. Cordle)

Four people were injured in Texas when a suspected tornado destroyed a farmhouse and a mobile home Thursday night near Merit, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said the injuries weren’t life-threatening, though he didn’t have details.

Storms pummeled the North Texas college city of Denton with hail as large as baseballs, leading to reports of broken windows and other damage. The National Weather Service in Tulsa noted reports of hail up to the size of ping pong balls and strong wind gusts.

Arkansas saw smaller hail, and falling tree limbs knocked out power in western parts of the state.

The heaviest rainfall was tapering off around midnight, though flash-flood warnings will remain in effect through daybreak in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and western Kentucky because of runoff from the torrential rains, according to the National Weather Service.

No injuries resulted from the twister that hit University City just west of St. Louis shortly before 5:30 a.m., damaging about 100 homes in winds that reached up to 110 mph, weather service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said.

A man surveys damage after a tornado hit and knocked trees down damaging homes and cutting power early Thursday,
April 3, 2014 in University City, Mo. Jim Sieveking, of the National Weather Service in St. Louis, says the tornado
touched down in the St. Louis suburb, as a strong storm system with intense lightning and heavy rain
moved through the St. Louis region. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden)

That system also carried heavy rain. Up to 5 inches fell in parts of Missouri, prompting flash flooding that damaged dozens of homes and forced at least two water rescues.

In University City, a densely populated area, the city opened a shelter for evacuees. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

Rainfall was heavy over much of Missouri and western Illinois. The National Weather Service said portions of Johnson County, Mo., had more than 5 inches of rain, causing flash flooding that forced evacuation of some homes in the Warrensburg area. Highway T in Johnson County was closed after rushing water washed out three culverts.

At least two drivers had to be rescued from water that swamped their cars. Even a three-person rescue team was briefly imperiled when flood debris clogged their jet skis. They eventually floated to safety.

Heavy rains also flooded some roads in Indiana, and conservation officers said they had rescued at least eight people. – Daily Mail.

Severe Weather In North Texas With Tornadoes Spotted, Damage, Injuries Reported Thursday

Several rounds of severe weather, including reported tornadoes and monster hail, left damage across north Texas on Thursday, injuring at least four.

The storms were part of a multi-state severe weather outbreak, which stretched from the Southern Plains into the Midwest. St. Louis saw a few rounds of severe weather, including an EF1 tornado.

Texas also saw a few waves of severe weather. The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth reports homes were damaged near Highway 69 in Hunt County, including damaged roofs and downed utility poles. The extent of damage from a reported tornado near Farmersville, Texas was not immediately known, but at least four people were injured when a farmhouse and a mobile home were destroyed northeast of the area near the town of Merit.

WATCH:  Baseball-Sized Hail Pelts Texas.

Denton, about 40 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth, saw two rounds of monster hail drive through the town less than two hours apart Thursday evening.

The first storm pounded the area around 4 p.m. CT, dropping baseball-sized hail. Several pictures surfaced on Twitter showing damage to cars.

The second round rolled through around 5:45 p.m. CT — this time, prompting a tornado warning for Denton County. Photos on Twitter show damage to cars and some structures at the University of North Texas campus in Denton.

According to dallasnews.com, mostly roofs and cars took the brunt of the storm. The National Weather Service says an 82 mph wind gust was recorded at the airport. Egg-sized hail was also reported with the second cell.

Several tornado watches are posted through the evening from the Southern Plains into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

Meteorologists warned Thursday would bring a severe weather outbreak, with threats including tornadoes, high wind and hail. The storm threat is forecast to continue overnight into Friday evening. – TWC.

Damaging Storms To Strike Cleveland To Atlanta Friday Evening

As the storm system responsible for bringing severe weather to the Central states at midweek continues to move eastward, the threat of severe weather will slowly diminish. However, a few storms along an advancing cold front can still bring strong gusty winds, hail and blinding downpours into Friday evening.

The greatest risk of thunderstorms with damaging wind into Friday evening is from eastern Ohio to northern West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and western upstate New York and over the Florida Panhandle, as well as in offshore Gulf of Mexico waters.

Winds in some of the storms can bring gusts to 60 mph. A couple of the strongest storms can produce a brief tornado.

Throughout the zone from the lower Great Lakes to the central Gulf Coast there can be brief downpours with incidents of flash, urban and small stream flooding possible.

People are urged to keep an eye on the weather for rapidly changing weather conditions. Listen to alerts on radio and TV. Stay up-to-date with devices equipped with AccuWeather Apps.

The storms will tend to weaken upon reaching the Atlantic coast Friday night, especially in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where a wedge of cool air has moved in from the east. Still, a strong thunderstorm or downpours with rumbles of thunder are possible from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

A few storms in the southeastern corner of the nation can linger and be locally strong on Saturday. – AccuWeather.

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