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Heavy snowfall and strong tornadoes are possible as the winter storm moves east

On Thursday, the massive storm system will bare its teeth, bringing heavy snow and winter mixing to the north side of the system, flooding precipitation in the middle and severe thunderstorms to the south side of the system.

Heavy snow with snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour at times affected parts of the Central Plains and Midwest Thursday morning. In fact, thunderstorms have been reported in the Kansas City area. The heavy snow is expected to continue through Thursday, accompanied by a wintry mix of ice pellets and freezing rain.

At the same time, 1 to 3 inches of rain falling on top of already significant snow totals are expected to lead to flooding issues from the Midwest to New England.

More than 100 river gauges are expected to rise from minor to major flood stage in the coming days. Rivers to watch include those in northeast Ohio and the Buffalo, New York area.

Thursday’s severe thunderstorm threat is the most concerning in terms of effects. A risk of strong tornadoes exists, particularly in parts of Mississippi, western and central Tennessee, and western Alabama. Other threats include wind gusts to 75 mph and hail.

Cities in the risk zone include Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Jackson, Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama, Louisville, Kentucky, Shreveport, Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas. The cities most at risk from tornadoes are Memphis, Nashville and Jackson.

From Thursday evening to Friday morning, heavy rains accompanied by strong winds reach the east coast. The time of torrential rains and strongest wind gusts will be from midnight to 6 a.m. Friday. Winds could blow up to 65 mph in places. All the rain will be off the Atlantic coast by 9 a.m. Friday.

Ahead of the storm, there will be record high temperatures in parts of the Northeast and New England.

About half a dozen records will be possible Thursday in parts of New England, including Boston, which will set a record if they reach 62 degrees.

Highs in this region will be 20 to 30 degrees above average, which will feel like more April than February. Friday will start mild, but temperatures will drop during the day and over the weekend.

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