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Severe storms predicted Tuesday could affect 25 million people in South

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A new robust storm system moving into the Pacific Northwest Sunday is expected to spawn severe storms in the South this week.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued an early forecast warning, calling for "a significant severe-weather event" across parts of the lower Mississippi River Valley Tuesday.

"This storm system will have the potential to produce severe thunderstorms capable of tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds, and also large hail," Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the Storm Prediction Center, told CNN Weather. "The details regarding areas most at risk from tornadoes will become clearer as Tuesday approaches and smaller-scale trends become more evident."

The larger severe storm threat Tuesday could affect more than 25 million people from eastern Texas to southern Indiana.

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The prediction center also noted in its forecast discussion Sunday morning "a categorical upgrade will be possible in later outlooks," meaning the severe storm threat has the potential to increase to a Level 4 or 5 out of 5 as Tuesday approaches and the forecast becomes more clear.

Regardless, storms this week are expected to be strong and potentially damaging. The system is likely to spawn tornadoes and damaging winds across the lower Mississippi River Valley after dark Tuesday, which can be particularly dangerous.

"Unfortunately, it does appear that the severe storm threat will continue into the evening and overnight hours on Tuesday," Bunting said.

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