Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds and possibly tornadoes are forecast for parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. Strong storms are also possible in a swath from northeastern Texas through the mid-Atlantic states.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says nearly 2.3 million people in a 22,000 square mile area of northeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas are under an enhanced risk of storms Thursday afternoon and night.
States in the potential path for strong storms include Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina along with small portions of Indiana and Ohio.
Storms that produced tornadoes and heavy rain have been blamed for more than a dozen deaths in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma since late April.