By Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist
A potent system in the central US is stirring up severe weather this weekend that will move eastward early next week, impacting more than 50 million people.
This system will move into an area with above-average temperatures and a lot of moisture surging in from the Gulf of Mexico, creating the perfect environment for thunderstorms.
By Monday that same system will push into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the country, impacting more than 50 million people.
Damaging winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes are the main threats from this system, forecasters say.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a slight risk, level 2 of 5, of severe storms for portions of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska on Saturday. The primary threat looks to be isolated large hail, but damaging winds and an isolated tornado are also possible.
“The primary severe risk across the region, in the form of large hail, is expected to develop after sunset, and particularly through the 10pm-1am CDT time frame, mainly across east-central/northeast Kansas into northern Missouri,” the SPC said early Saturday.
By Sunday morning, the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms becomes higher as the system shifts east.
The SPC has already issued an enhanced risk, level 3 of 5, of severe storms from much of the mid-Mississippi Valley region, including St. Louis and Little Rock.
“Scattered severe thunderstorms associated with damaging wind gusts, isolated large hail and some tornadoes will be likely from parts of the Ozarks into the mid Mississippi Valley,” the SPC said regarding Sunday.
Sunday’s threat begins with individual storms merging into a strong line by Sunday evening.
“Damaging hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes will be possible,” the National Weather Service office in St. Louis warned. “A few locations may experience significant severe weather.”
The system shifts farther east Monday, bringing the severe storm threat to areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
There is a slight risk, level 2 out of 5, Monday for much of the southern and central Appalachian region including Atlanta, Knoxville, Charlotte, and Raleigh.
Strong to severe thunderstorms are also possible for cities such as New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, and Virginia Beach.
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CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett contributed to this report.