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High winds and severe weather threat return to a region still recovering from last week’s tornadoes

By Jennifer Gray, CNN

Exactly one week after the Deep South faced a deadly tornado outbreak, another round of severe weather is taking shape in the same areas Tuesday and Wednesday for over 50 million people at risk.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are all under a level 4 out of 5 risk for severe weather on Wednesday.

This includes the risk of significant winds (gusts over 75 mph), large hail and the possibility of strong tornadoes (EF-2 or stronger).

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New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Montgomery, Alabama, are under a level 3 out of 5 risk for severe weather.

“All the ingredients are there for a severe weather event,” said the National Weather Service (NWS) office in New Orleans. “QLCS tornadoes are a definite possibility.”

QLCS stands for quasi-linear convective system, which produces tornadoes within a line of storms.

They can spin up quickly with little warning. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) noted in its forecast discussion that the “fast storm motion could result in longer-track QLCS tornadoes than are typically observed.”

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This means that the tornadoes could stay on the ground longer than usual.

The SPC mentions that these tornadoes could be EF-2 or potentially stronger within this line of storms.

Dallas is at risk for severe storms again

These storms are pushing east from the Plains, which on Tuesday will create a slight risk — level 2 of 5 — of storms from Texas to Iowa.

“Severe thunderstorms are expected mainly this evening and tonight, from the lower Missouri Valley region to central Texas,” the SPC said.

Winds and hail are the main threats, but a few tornadoes will be possible, especially in Texas and Oklahoma.

This severe storm setup is similar to last week. Critical dry and windy fire weather is possible in the western Plains. Severe storms will happen in the moist areas in the eastern Plains.

These storms will roll east through the night and strengthen Wednesday.

Debris from last week could create more hazards

As these storms move into the Lower Mississippi River Valley by midday, very strong winds will enter the region ahead of the main line of storms.

“Some gusts are expected to be 50+mph (not associated with the line of storms),” said the NWS office in New Orleans in their forecast discussion.

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Once the storms reach the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area, the winds within the storm system could gust to 70 mph or higher. This could result in falling trees and power outages.

The New Orleans area is still cleaning up from last week’s deadly EF-3 tornado and damaging EF-1 tornado. According to Lauren Nash at the NWS office in New Orleans, some streets are still lined with debris, which could become incredibly dangerous when you add 70 mph storm winds.

“Whenever you have that 60-70 mile per hour wind, it’s going to pick up a lot of that debris,” Nash told CNN on Monday. “So it’s important to stay inside when we have a wind advisory out and if we do have warnings in effect, just go into an interior room.”

The bulk of the storms in this area will be pushing farther east by late Wednesday and early Thursday. The Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast could all see storms on Thursday; however, the severe risk isn’t as high as it is for Wednesday.

Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and New York City could all see storms, which could cause travel delays.

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