20 million under alert Saturday for severe storms on East Coast

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Twenty million people are on alert along the East Coast for a sweeping storm system that is expected to bring the threat of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes to parts of the region Saturday.

Strong, scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop in the coming afternoon and evening hours across parts of the Northeast and along portions of the Southeast coast.

Any severe thunderstorms that develop could bring damaging wind gusts, large hail and potentially tornadoes.

The severe weather threat is expected to end later Saturday evening, with the system forecast to exit the East Coast overnight and into early Sunday.

Another major storm system is currently moving into the West, bringing heavy rain and mountain snow. Winter weather advisories are in effect from the Cascades in western Washington and Oregon into the northern Sierra Nevada in Northern California. Travel through some mountain passes could be impacted this weekend.

Strong, gusty winds potentially reaching over 60 mph in some spots are another concern this weekend. Wind alerts have been issued for Sunday stretching from Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California over to Las Vegas and up into Idaho.

That storm system is expected to bring a significant, severe weather threat to parts of the South early next week.

The widespread storm is forecast to unfold early next week in parts of the South, primarily in parts of Texas and Louisiana on Monday and then shifting east into Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday.

Tornadoes, large hail and damaging gusts could all occur. Numerous severe thunderstorms also could bring significant impacts to parts of the region.

Elsewhere, widespread fire weather alerts have been issued for Sunday stretching from Texas up to South Dakota. Strong, gusty winds and persistent dry conditions make it favorable for new fires to spark and difficult to battle existing ones.

Among several active wildfires in Texas is the massive Eastland Complex, consisting of four separate fires in central Texas. The deadly, destructive complex has burned 45,383 acres and was 15% contained as of Saturday morning.

Firefighters had been impeded by windy conditions. They will see improved weather conditions on Saturday, before another round of strong winds and critical fire weather conditions return Sunday.

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