Tornadoes and Hail Head Toward Midwest as 54 Million Americans Are in the Path of Wild Weather

jeffclarke/Instagram(DALLAS) -- Destructive tornadoes and giant hail are headed towards the Plains states, including Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.

As one storm system moves towards the Northeast and a second, stronger one hits the Midwest Tuesday night, there are altogether 54 million people in the path of the wild weather.

In the Northeast, stormy weather is moving to the Mid-Atlantic, where a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued from Pennsylvania to Maryland to Northwest New Jersey. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, there was a 48 mph wind gust with pea-sized hail. The Northeast's storms will continue through the evening before clearing out tonight.

Meanwhile, the second storm system is moving east out of the Rockies. Strong tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds are expected tonight in the Midwest, from cities as far north as Lincoln, Wichita, St. Louis and Kansas City, to as far south as Oklahoma City, Dallas, Waco and San Antonio.

A Tornado Watch was issued Tuesday afternoon stretching from San Angelo, Texas, up to Tulsa, Oklahoma, that will last until midnight CST. This is a rare “Particularly Dangerous Situation” where several intense and long-track tornadoes are possible. The area may also face huge hail -- larger than 4 inches -- and damaging wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour.

Another Tornado Watch covers eastern Kansas and southern Nebraska. Several tornadoes, some strong, are likely, along with large hail over 3 inches and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph. That Tornado Watch expires at 9 p.m. CST.

As the storm loomed, photos captured the eerie skies in St. Louis:

 

 

Then, an hour later in St. Louis, the rain and wind arrived:

 

 

The long line of damaging storms is expected to stretch from Kansas City and Wichita south toward Dallas by midnight, and then continue east overnight.

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