Multi-day storm threatens South with all hazards, including a significant risk for flooding

A potent storm will sweep across a large portion of the United States into the weekend, ramping up the risk for damaging winds, hail, flooding and even a few tornadoes in the South.

Atlanta faces a significant flood threat as severe thunderstorms and drenching rainfall focus on the region.

Here’s how the threats are expected to unfold through the end of the week.

Thursday: Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain begin

A surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will fuel storm tracking over the south-central US Thursday, causing it to become quite potent.

Thunderstorms rumbled in parts of the southern Plains Thursday morning, but a round of more intense storms started to fire up in the same areas in the afternoon.

Damaging storms will push east through the evening and eventually reach parts of the Mississippi Valley late Thursday night.

Drenching rain, damaging wind gusts and hail are the main risks. Very dangerous, large hail could develop and slam parts of central Texas and western Oklahoma.

A tornado or two cannot be ruled out, but chances for tornadic activity will increase later this week.

Heavy rain within severe thunderstorms could trigger flooding in portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The Dallas area is under a Level 2 of 4 risk for flooding rainfall Thursday, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

The storm system driving the damaging weather will also unload soaking rain north of the severe thunderstorms over more of the Plains and Mississippi Valley.

Friday: Severe thunderstorm and flooding threats expand

The storm will strengthen and expand its reach on Friday as it tracks east. A widespread threat for severe thunderstorms and significant flooding will unfold from the southern Plains to the Southeast.

Damaging storms from Thursday night could linger into Friday morning for parts of Texas and Oklahoma, but another round of storms is set to ignite in the region by early Friday afternoon.

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CNN Weather

These storms are likely to rumble to life across parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana and push east through the evening to reach Mississippi and Alabama.

Large hail, damaging wind gusts, torrential rain and tornadoes are all possible. A tornado risk covers a large area from Texas and Oklahoma through Alabama and into parts of Georgia and Florida.

Dallas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Jackson, Mississippi, are just a few of the cities under a Level 2 of 5 risk of severe thunderstorms on Friday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

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CNN Weather

Flood threats will also increase. A Level 3 of 4 risk for flooding rainfall is in place for cities from Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, to Atlanta. Atlanta already dealt with significant flooding Wednesday after 3 inches of rain inundated the area.

Torrential rainfall from late Friday through the overnight hours may bring an additional 3 to 4 inches to the Atlanta area and create a fresh round of dangerous flash flooding on already soaked soil incapable of handling much more rain.

Saturday: Stormy weather eyes the East

The wide-reaching storm will expand to much of the East by Saturday and unload another day of severe thunderstorms and flooding.

Once again, the greatest risk of severe thunderstorms will center over the southern US. Damaging storms from Friday night are likely to continue Saturday morning in parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

CNN Weather
CNN Weather

Additional storms may rumble to life and push into the Carolinas as rising temperatures provide an extra boost of energy Saturday afternoon.

Damaging winds, flooding rainfall and a few tornadoes are expected to be the main risks associated with any of Saturday’s potent thunderstorms.

Farther north, the storm will spread drenching rain over the Great Lakes during the day and reach the Northeast by Saturday evening. Rain may change to a wintry mix of rain, ice and snow for high elevations of the interior Northeast late Saturday.

After days of active weather, the storm is expected to exit much of the East Sunday and allow drier conditions to take hold. However, some rain and wintry mix may persist in New England .

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