Severe storms could affect 26 million across Southeast

Parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast can expect severe thunderstorms and high winds Monday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service is warning.

Much of the Southeast is likely to see scattered clusters of storms. Large hail and strong winds are the primary threat for several cities, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Norfolk, Virginia.

“A few severe storms with damaging wind gusts and hail will be possible through this evening from northeast Mississippi to the Carolinas and southeast Virginia,” the weather service said.

“The greatest concentration of reports is forecast over parts of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.”

“Spring has arrived and severe weather season has arrived,” CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said. A few strong storms could develop Tuesday along the Southeast coast into Florida, forecasters said.

Track the storms here

Meanwhile, a rare April blizzard is forecast to develop starting Tuesday in the Rockies, eventually spreading into the Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

Winter storm watches extend from Utah to Minnesota, and will likely be upgraded to winter storm warnings, and even blizzard warnings by Tuesday.

The peak of the storm is expected on Wednesday into Friday, with up to 2 feet of snow and with winds gusting to 50 mph.

Minneapolis will be near 70 degrees on Monday, but will see plummeting temperatures and snow by Wednesday morning. Up to a foot of snow is possible for the Twin Cities area by Friday.

High wind watches have been posted for parts of the Southwest, including Las Vegas, where gusts of 50 to 60 mph are possible Tuesday into Wednesday.

The high winds and warm temperatures will lead to a critical fire danger Tuesday over much of the region, especially from New Mexico into southern Colorado.