Tornado Risk Follows Record Warmth in Central US

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By Aaron Hepker

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — You might forgive Midwesterners for feeling a little whipsawed by the weather.

Record high temperatures across a swath of the central U.S. are giving way to severe storms, strong winds and possible tornadoes from Texas to Alabama and as far north as Michigan.

The temperature in the central Missouri college town of Columbia reached 77 degrees on Monday, a record high for January. The spring-like conditions came after a spell of freezing rain, and forecasts predict early-morning snow on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says the risks of tornadoes touching down Tuesday is greatest in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana, northwest Mississippi, southeast Missouri and much of Arkansas. That system is expected to hit much of the eastern United States on Wednesday.

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