(CNN) – The United States is preparing for severe storms Parts of the southeastern part of the country, with potentially damaging winds, hail and tornadoes forecast.
The US Storm Prediction Center (SPC) just updated its severe weather monitoring for parts of central and eastern Texas, raising the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to level 4 from 5.
“Several tornadoes, including the possibility of a few strong tornadoes, along with very significant hail and damaging winds are expected this afternoon through the night,” the SPC noted.
Level 4 risk covers nearly 3 million people and includes Austin and College Station.
Level 3 risks have been issued in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston and involve more than 14 million people. Storms are expected to peak in the late afternoon into the evening hours, including the potential for strong tornadoes after dark, which are considered particularly dangerous.
An additional level 4 out of 5 risk also applies for tomorrow in areas further east including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jackson and Mississippi.
Storm Warning in Texas
The powerful low pressure system that swept the western highlands on Sunday will become the catalyst for an outbreak of severe weather for several days this week in the southern plains and Gulf Coast region.
As of Monday, more than 20 million people along the Gulf Coast could be affected by damaging winds, big hail and hurricanes.
For the Ark-La-Tex region, hurricane risk increases during night hours. Hurricanes that happen at night have more than double to be fatal than those that occur during the day.
When tornadoes occur during the day, people are awake, alert, and make a conscious effort to look for weather alerts. At night, it’s a different story. It’s essential to make sure you have a weather radio, a weather app on your phone, or some other alert system to wake you up if you live in an area that expects severe storms overnight.
On Tuesday, the risk of severe weather increases as it moves east. The potential for strong tornadoes, hail, and damaging straight line winds exists from Lafayette, Louisiana, east to Huntsville, Alabama.
– CNN’s Pedram Jawahiri, Mike Sainz, and Alison Chenchar contributed to this report.
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