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Severe Storms, Heavy Rain Slam Florida, Southeast

UPDATED 12:15 PM EST, February 26, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, Seth Carrier and James West

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The same storm system bringing a major snowstorm to the Plains is fueling thunderstorms and flooding downpours across central Florida, Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic. The severe threat will continue to slide across the Southeast Atlantic Coast today.

Showers and severe storms are developing along a warm front across the Southeast and ahead of a cold front moving through the eastern Gulf Coast. Tornadoes are the biggest threat in northern Florida with wind gusts in excess of 60 mph possible. Tornado Watches are in effect for most of central and northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia, including Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.

The same storm system will continue to edge northeastward today and the cold front will sweep across the Southeast this afternoon. This will shift the severe storm threat onto the Carolina Atlantic Coast this afternoon and evening. Here, any severe storms could produce gusty winds and even a couple of tornadoes. In addition, heavy rain will push across North Carolina and slide northward along the coast into the Mid-Atlantic and New England this afternoon.

The abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture fueling the Deep South storms will be squeezed out as heavy rain. The combination of elevated river levels from recent heavy rain and excessive runoff from the storms will overwhelm poor drainage areas in downtown and city locations. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."

Flash Flood and Flood Watches continue along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana into northern Florida and Georgia. Biloxi, Miss., Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla., are included in the watches.

Hefty rainfall totals occurred in Louisiana and Florida on Monday. Meraux and Covington, La., got pelted with 4.54 inches while Marianna, Fla., received 3.90 inches of rain. Daily rainfall records were shattered at a number of places, including Tallahassee, Fla., with 3.14 inches and Jacksonville, Fla., with 2.54 inches.

The northern part of the same storm complex is bringing snowy weather back to the Central Plains. For more on how much snow is expected, click here.

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