70 million people in the US are under a severe weather threat that includes tornadoes and hail

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center issued a rare "Particularly Dangerous Situation" tornado watch for parts of the Midwest through Saturday night.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 3:35 PM

(CNN) -- Severe weather, including tornadoes and hail, was possible Saturday afternoon and night for large portions of the United States, especially the Midwest.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center issued a rare "Particularly Dangerous Situation" tornado watch for parts of the Midwest through Saturday night. These storms, which could produce hail the size of baseballs or larger along with damaging 70-plus mph winds, threaten about 5 million people, CNN meteorologists said.

The states most at risk are Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. That's where long-track, intense and multiple tornadoes could develop during the afternoon and continuing into the evening.

Overall, 70 million Americans face the threat of severe weather, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said. The greatest threat for a significant weather outbreak covers roughly 45,000 square miles, including Chicago metro area.

"All weather modeling points to a significant severe weather outbreak for portions of the Midwest today, with lower chances as you travel south towards the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valley Region," he said

"The threats include tornadoes (a few which may be significant), large to very large hail and severe wind gusts."

The weather service issued the first of several tornado watches for parts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri Saturday afternoon and more serious tornado warning for Stuart and other towns west of Des Moines.

In a tweet, the weather service reported a funnel cloud with a brief tornado touchdown 6 miles southeast of Fontanelle moving northeast. No other details were available.

Unseasonably warm and moist air ahead of a rapidly intensifying, low-pressure system will fuel the storms, which will stretch from the central portion of the country to the Great Lakes and Northeast.

A tweet on Saturday from the weather service said some cities at risk of severe storms are Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville and Columbus, Tennessee; and Madison Wisconsin.

Here's the tornado-risk breakdown:

Northern Illinois: moderate risk
Missouri, Iowa and Indiana: enhanced risk
Midwest, Southeast and Ohio Valley: Slight risk
4 tornado safety tips that could save your life

"As the storm intensifies and heads toward the upper Midwest, a wind-driven cold rain is expected to spread across the central Plains on Saturday," according to the Weather Prediction Center. "Some of the rain could change over to wet snow Saturday night across the upper Midwest."

The severe threat will likely peak on Saturday and continue into the early evening.

Also this weekend, a heat wave in the Southeast is breaking record high temperatures.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119348

Reported Deaths: 4374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles582612489
Riverside8155342
San Diego7674276
Orange6678158
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda354897
Santa Clara2832144
San Francisco261343
Kern241840
San Mateo221284
Tulare202690
Imperial202529
Fresno191437
Santa Barbara169714
Contra Costa151338
Sacramento146358
Kings11686
Ventura116434
San Joaquin108035
Stanislaus76730
Monterey58610
Sonoma5794
Solano54722
Marin50617
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2791
Placer2409
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21324
Napa1243
Madera1173
Humboldt1034
El Dorado960
San Benito902
Butte551
Nevada481
Del Norte470
Sutter462
Shasta404
Mono371
Yuba311
Mendocino300
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Lassen50
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Oroville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Paradise
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Chester
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Willows
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
The Heat Advisory will stay in place through Thursday evening. Cooler temperatures and the potential for showers and thunderstorms are ahead for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events