Severe thunderstorms expected on Saturday in parts of U.S. Midwest, South


FILE PHOTO: Lighting strikes over a barn surrounded by a soybean crop in Donnellson, Iowa, July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

(Reuters) – Severe thunderstorms are expected to strike parts of the Midwest and southern United States on Saturday afternoon and evening, bringing damaging winds, hail and the threat of tornadoes, forecasters said.

The deadliest series of twisters to hit the country since 2013 killed 23 people, injured dozens more and devastated small communities in rural Alabama last weekend.

Portions of eastern Arkansas, southeastern Montana, southern Illinois and western Kentucky are under a risk of scattered severe storms on Saturday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Lamers.

Isolated severe thunderstorms are also expected from upper Mississippi and northeast Texas to the lower Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley.

“The greatest threat right now looks like it’s kind of right around Memphis,” Lamers said in a phone interview.

Last Sunday’s tornadoes in Lee County, Alabama, were spawned by a late-winter “supercell” thunderstorm, ripping through homes and businesses with cyclonic winds of up to 170 miles (274 km) per hour.

On Friday, President Donald Trump visited the area and met with survivors, volunteers, and first responders.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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