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Powerful Storms Rattle South, Plains

UPDATED 7 PM CDT, July 31, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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The Southeast and western Carolinas will have an encore severe weather performance today as July concludes. The High Plains and Midwest and will also contend with a few severe thunderstorms later today. In all, the greatest concern will be high winds and a few hail reports.

After a morning full of strong storms hitting the Deep South, more potentially severe thunderstorms will develop across southern Mississippi, northern Florida and southeastern Georgia today. New Orleans, Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., could see the storms this afternoon and evening.

These new storms will develop in the same soupy, unstable air stuck across the Southeast. On top of this, potent upper-level energy will power the strongest storms.

The biggest threat will be damaging wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, with only a few reports of large hail up to golf ball size possible. The storms will also trigger downpours capable of flash flooding, while frequent lightning will be a staple of the more organized clusters of thunderstorms racing toward the Gulf Coast and Carolina Atlantic beaches tonight. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown"!

Additional severe thunderstorms will unfold across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, while a few strong thunderstorms will hit northeastern Colorado, northwestern Kansas, southwestern Nebraska as well as the central Ohio Valley. Here, these storms will develop in the hot weather and fed by a weak front meandering across the central U.S.

Minot and Grand Forks, N.D., are most at risk for severe thunderstorms containing damaging winds and large hail, with cities from Denver to Rapid City, S.D., and Fargo, N.D., also subject to threatening storms later this afternoon and tonight.

Today`s severe weather comes quickly on the heels of a rousing start to the new week from the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast to South Carolina. A Fort Walton Beach, Fla., auto dealership reported their roof was torn off on Monday, while a few trees were blocking an Interstate 95 off-ramp near Woodbine, Ga. A large tree fell on a house, injuring one person near Wildwood, Fla.

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