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Memorial Day weather: Heavy rain to dampen East Coast as excessive heat impacts parts of the South


After intense and deadly storms ravaged much of the central United States over the weekend, Memorial Day weather woes will continue Monday — but with a reduced threat of extreme impacts this time around.

Powerful storms and suspected tornadoes left at least 19 people dead — including four children — when severe storms hit several states, including Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, over the weekend.

Images of the aftermath showed piles of rubble, damaged cars and destroyed buildings. Strong winds and rain downed trees and power lines, knocking out power to more than 600,000 people in 12 states. The storms also delayed the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 by about four hours on Sunday afternoon.

LIVE UPDATES: At least 19 dead in tornado-producing storms sweep across central US

Severe storms continued to batter parts of Kentucky overnight and inflict damage on some communities, prompting Gov. Andy Beshear to declare a state of emergency early Monday. Phone lines in the Bowling Green area were down, leading police to set up alternative emergency numbers for those who needed help.

The National Weather Service office in Paducah sent at least two storm survey teams Monday to assess the damage, the office said.

Two storm-related deaths were reported in the state — one in Mercer County and one about 70 miles away in Louisville. Some relief is in store as the storm system moves eastward Monday, when its strongest and most extreme impacts are expected to ease.

On Monday, heavy rain is expected to flood parts of the East Coast, and although the risk of tornadoes is much lower than what occurred over the weekend, there is still a possibility of isolated tornadoes along the Interstate 95 corridor from Newark, New Jersey, to the Carolinas.

Some East Coast Greats cities also face threats from devastating winds. Meanwhile, excessive heat will bake parts of the South with potentially record-breaking temperatures as the unofficial start of summer begins.

By Tuesday evening, the storm front will move toward the East Coast, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

“The boundary will create an area of ​​severe showers and thunderstorms over portions of eastern Missouri and the Ohio Valley,” the center said.

There is a risk of Level 3 out of 5 severe thunderstorms for these areas as well as the Tennessee Valley through Monday morning, with associated hazards including frequent lightning, severe thunderstorm wind gusts, hail and a few tornadoes.

“There will be an additional threat of EF2 to EF5 tornadoes and hail 2 inches or larger over portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley and West Tennessee,” according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Areas of the Upper Mississippi Valley and upper Great Lakes, including parts of Wisconsin, also face threats of localized flash flooding due to heavy rain through Monday morning.

Showers will also threaten Memorial Day plans along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. There is a slight Level 2 of 4 risk of excessive rainfall over these areas Monday through Tuesday morning, with flash flooding possible in low-lying and urban areas.

High temperatures and an early season heat wave are expected to make for a sweltering Memorial Day holiday in parts of the South, including South Texas, the central Gulf Coast and South Florida.

South Texas is under an excessive heat warning through Monday evening and additional heat warnings and advisories are expected to be issued throughout the South.

Houston; New Orleans; Miami; Mobile, Ala.; Tampa, Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina, are a few areas that could experience extreme heat on Monday.

Temperatures in some locations will be at or near record highs, with heat index readings possibly exceeding 115 degrees, the center noted. The heat index — a measure of how hot the body actually feels — is expected to reach about 110 degrees Monday in Houston and 119 degrees in Laredo, according to the city’s National Weather Service office.

Nightfall may not bring relief in some areas. Nighttime low temperatures are expected to be 10 to 15 degrees above normal.

Such extreme and prolonged heat increases the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heatstroke, especially for vulnerable groups such as children, adults with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and workers exteriors.

Risks from excessive heat – the deadliest form of extreme weather – are becoming more prevalent as human-caused climate change drives global warming. During last year’s warm season, heat-related illnesses accounted for a 20% higher share of emergency department visits than in the previous five seasons.

CNN Meteorologist Elliana Hebert and CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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