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Powerful Storms Rolling Through Mid-South, Ohio Valley

UPDATED 8:30 PM CDT, May 31, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Fresh thunderstorms are peppering residents across the Mid-South and Ohio Valley tonight. The storms have a long history of producing hail and destructive wind gusts from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in place from southern Tennessee to northern Kentucky, including Nashville, Tenn., and Bowling Green, Ky.

Complexes of nasty thunderstorms are rolling across central Tennessee, extending northeastward into central and northern Kentucky tonight. Though the storms across Kentucky are sub-severe, the ones darting across central Tennessee continue to pack a punch with large hail up to golf ball size and even locally destructive wind gusts common.

The storms are feeding off a contrast between very warm, humid air ahead of a cold front draped from eastern Texas to western Kentucky, with cooler, drier air invading the Mississippi Valley. Adding fuel to the fire is an energetic upper-level cool pocket streaking across the Lower Mississippi Valley and into the Southeast.

The single biggest concern is damaging wind gusts reaching 70 mph, though golf ball size cannot be discounted in the most intense thunderstorms. In addition to the full arsenal of severe weather, the storms will continue to produce intense lightning seen on Earth Networks Total Lightning Network and downpours triggering flash flooding.

Cities such as Nashville, Tenn., Bowling Green, Ky., and Cincinnati will remain in an elevated risk for one of these fresh thunderstorms during the next few hours.

Since earlier this afternoon, severe weather reports have been climbing. Quarter sized hail pelted Port Wentworth, Ga., near Clinton, La., and Gideon and Portageville, Mo. The majority of the reports have consisted of wind-related, with a tree falling on a house in Opelousas, La., resulting in one injury. Power lines were also reported down near Baton Rouge, La., International Airport. An additional injury due to a fallen tree on a mobile home occurred near Willington, Tenn.

The good news is that the low pressure responsible for today`s storms won`t stick around. Instead, it will move northeastward into the Ohio Valley, unleashing its fury on the Eastern Seaboard for the end of the work week.

Be sure to check back with WeatherBug for updates on the severe weather and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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