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April typically kicks off the most active three months for tornadoes in the U.S., and this year will be no exception as a widespread multiday severe weather threat is expected to impact tens of millions of Americans in the eastern half of the country between Monday and Tuesday.

A storm system that soaked Southern California with flooding rainfall over the Easter holiday weekend will help trigger the development of a new area of low pressure in the central Plains, which will quickly strengthen and track eastward during the first half of the workweek.

“We’ve got this large dip in the jet stream, which is helping to spawn this powerful low in the central Plains,” FOX Weather Meteorologist Kendall Smith said. “This area of low pressure is set to develop in Texas (on Monday), and then it’s going to track its way to the northeast.”

As that low-pressure system pulls in moisture streaming northward from the Gulf of Mexico, the atmosphere will quickly turn unstable by Monday afternoon in the southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley.


An overview of the storm system responsible for the widespread severe weather threat on Monday and Tuesday.
(FOX Weather)


Monday’s severe weather threat covers 45 million from Texas to Ohio Valley

A widespread severe weather threat, with a potential for large hail, wind damage and tornadoes, is expected Monday and Monday night from parts of the southern Plains northeastward into the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.

Monday’s threat zone encompasses more than 45 million people and includes major cities such as Dallas in Texas, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, St. Louis in Missouri, Indianapolis in Indiana and Cincinnati in Ohio.

Very large hail is possible across parts of the southern Plains and Ozarks, particularly from central and northeastern Oklahoma through southwestern and central Missouri.

“We’re talking the size of baseballs. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want a baseball to come crashing down while I’m driving on the highway, or even just my home in general,” Smith said. “So you need to take those precautions today and make sure that you are ready for (Monday).”

The greatest tornado threat is expected from Oklahoma into southern Indiana on Monday evening.

Severe thunderstorms are also expected to impact parts of the lower Ohio Valley, especially during the evening and overnight hours. Nighttime tornadoes are more than twice as likely to result in fatalities than those that happen during the day, so make sure you have a way to receive potentially life-saving weather alerts that would wake you up during the night.


The severe storm threat on Monday, April 1, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


Tuesday’s severe weather threat covers 72 million from Ohio Valley to mid-Atlantic to South

A continuation of Monday night’s severe storms is expected farther east on Tuesday, with the threat stretching from the Ohio and Tennessee valleys eastward into the mid-Atlantic and southward to the central Gulf Coast states.

Wind damage and isolated large hail are possible across this widespread zone that comprises more than 72 million people, including the cities of Indianapolis in Indiana, Cincinnati in Ohio, Louisville in Kentucky, Charleston in West Virginia, Nashville in Tennessee, Baltimore in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The tornado threat is expected to be greatest from central Kentucky east-northeastward into West Virginia.


The severe storm threat on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


Additional severe thunderstorms could erupt on Wednesday as the storm system continues to track toward the East Coast. However, it is too soon to pinpoint which areas of the eastern U.S. would face a heightened risk of severe storms.

Be sure to check back with FOX Weather for updates on this widespread severe weather threat. You can download the free FOX Weather app and enable notifications to receive real-time alerts about any severe weather headed your way.

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