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Almada, Portugal

Severe Storms Rumbling Across Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic

UPDATED 9:45 PM EST, February 29, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Once, very dangerous thunderstorms with a long-history of destruction are marching into the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic tonight. The storms will still pack a punch while exiting the East Coast, producing a few tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail.

Tornado Watches stretch from western North Carolina into northern Georgia and north-central Alabama, including Rome, Ga., and Asheville, N.C.

The severe weather is being driven by a potent cold front diving into the western Tennessee and Lower Mississippi Valley this evening. Ahead of the cold front, unseasonably warm, moist air is being forced eastward by much cooler, drier air. The net result is a lengthy line of powerful thunderstorms streaking toward the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas.

The threats with the thunderstorms streaking across the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas will mainly include damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph. However, an isolated tornado and hail greater than golf ball-size cannot be completely ruled out for places like Charlotte and Asheville, N.C., and Roanoke, Va.

Rare-February severe weather has been rampant today for those across the Ohio Valley. A confirmed EF-2 tornado produced significant damage to homes and businesses in Elizabethtown, Ky. Other unconfirmed tornadoes produced damage in Newburgh, Ind., Madisonville, Ky., and Hopkinsville, Ky. Hail greater than golf ball size pelted West Liberty, Ky., while wind gusts approaching hurricane force were clocked in Gracey and Cadiz, Ky.

Beyond the severe threat, the storms will be feeding off plenty of Gulf moisture. The most intense storms could produce a quick 1 to 2 inches of rain, which will be enough to cause flash flooding in poor drainage and urban locations. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it`s best to "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."

The colder side of the storm will be a far different story. Cold, Canadian air locked in place across the Northeast is teaming up with Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico moisture, producing a rarely-seen snowstorm for New England. At the same time, the whopper of a blizzard that tormented the Minnesota Arrowhead and northern Great Lakes is finally coming to a conclusion. For the latest information on additional snow across the Northeast, click here

Stay with WeatherBug for the latest on this severe threat as it sweeps across the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas tonight. Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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