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An Easter holiday storm system that will impact California and the West with rain and mountain snow has its eyes set on the heartland to begin the first week of April.

According to the FOX Forecast Center, the presence of moisture and instability will allow thunderstorms to erupt. A few could become severe with gusty winds, lightning and tornadoes.

Forecast models show the first widespread severe weather event will be centered over the middle of the U.S. on Monday before sliding eastward and impacting areas such as the Tennessee and Ohio valleys on Tuesday.

“What starts in the West must eventually come East,” said FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar. “All of that energy, as it shifts through the weekend over the Four Corners, gets a second life as it develops over the central U.S.”

April typically sees an increase in severe weather outbreaks as seasonal air masses clash over the eastern half of the country. In fact, the month is usually the second busiest for tornadoes, only outdone by May.

More active April severe weather events typically happen when the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is in a La Niña phase, which is the opposite of the El Niño the world is currently in.


Monday forecast: Large section of country faces severe weather risk

An influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a favorable atmosphere are expected to contribute to widespread showers and thunderstorms Monday.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a region from Texas to the Great Lakes for being at an increased risk of thunderstorms, which could contain hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

The risk area includes communities such as Dallas in Texas, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma and St. Louis in Missouri.

The severe weather outlook for April 1, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


About 30 million Americans are included in the heightened severe weather risk zone.

The severe weather threat is expected to continue well after sunset Monday, meaning that some tornadoes could be nocturnal.

Nighttime tornadoes are more than twice as likely to result in fatalities than those that happen during the day.


Tuesday forecast: Severe storms work east

Lingering showers and thunderstorms from Monday and the redevelopment of cells over the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys are expected to be the main themes Tuesday.

Tuesday’s heightened threat zone stretches from Ohio into northern Mississippi and Alabama.

Included in the zone are communities such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky.

Similar to Monday, the FOX Forecast Center warned that all modes of severe weather will be possible. The geographic scope should be reduced compared to Monday’s threat zone.

The severe weather outlook for April 2, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


“The key messaging here is that as we follow what happens with the rain over the weekend in the West, don’t lose sight of the start of the new week, the start of the new month,” Minar said. “Come April, make sure you have your FOX Weather app downloaded, and those alerts turned on.”

Beyond Tuesday, predictability is too low to categorize any one community as being in a heightened threat.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to erupt until the frontal boundary exists on the East Coast by Thursday.


The forecast for April 3, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


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