By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 20,2017, 3:40:00PM,EDT
Thunderstorms with heavy rain and locally gusty winds will slice southward from the Ohio Valley to the Tennessee Valley, middle Mississippi Valley and the southern Appalachians into Tuesday night.
The storms first erupted over the Upper Midwest on Sunday and will continue to move and re-fire as warmth builds in the South.
While these storms will not constitute a severe weather outbreak, they can be locally heavy and gusty and are expected to lead to travel disruptions.
Many of the storms will bring drenching downpours. Motorists should be prepared for travel delays related to excess water in poor drainage areas, as well as poor visibility.
A few of the strongest storms can produce gusty winds and large hail. It is possible a few communities can be hit with winds strong enough to down tree limbs and hail large enough to damage vehicles.
Hoopeston, Illinois was one town hit by severe thunderstorms on Monday afternoon with an NWS trained spotter reporting baseball-sized hail.
Into Monday evening, cities from Indianapolis to Cincinnati, Huntington, West Virginia, and Louisville, Kentucky, will be at risk for locally damaging storms.
During late Monday night, the storms will extend from southern Missouri to southern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia.
On Tuesday, the locally heavy storms will extend from northern Arkansas through Tennessee, western North Carolina, northern Alabama and northern Georgia.
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Airline delays are possible at the hubs of Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, as well as Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, for a time on Tuesday and Tuesday night.
The storms will reach parts of the interior South that are in need of drenching rainfall.
Drought conditions are gripping portions of the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, as well as the southern Appalachians, according to the United States Drought Monitor. The most extreme drought conditions extend from western North Carolina to northern Alabama.
The locally heavy thunderstorms into the middle of this week will be followed by a significant round of severe weather over the Central states from late this week through this weekend.