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Baseball-sized hail batters South, severe risk continues

Staff Writers

Sunday, March 11, 2018, 14:42 - Monster hail battered parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi on Saturday night, as a potent cluster of thunderstorms moved through the Lower Mississippi Valley. In some places, hail measured up to 3.5 inches across and caused significant damage.

While the risk for severe weather diminished on Sunday, the front that sparked Saturday's severe weather may still stir up some strong storms as it dips off the Gulf Coast and down the Florida Peninsula through Monday. We take a look at that risk, as well as some impressive images from Saturday's storms, below.

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Weather Highlights

  • Numerous reports of large, damaging hail and strong wind gusts from Saturday night's storms
  • These storms lingered through early Sunday over the central Gulf Coast, leading to some strong morning and early afternoon storms for Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Slight risk of severe storms Sunday afternoon for central Gulf Coast, Florida Panhandle, and southern Georgia
  • Main threat Sunday afternoon/evening is for damaging wind gusts, but isolated tornadoes are possible
  • On Monday, marginal severe risk for Central and South Florida
  • Hail and damaging wind gusts should be primary threat for Monday

Much of Sunday's severe risk was focused on early-day activity, as Saturday night's storms formed a squall line that continued plunging toward the Gulf Coast through Sunday morning, sparking reports of damaging winds as it went. The risk for strong, post-frontal winds continues through the afternoon, however, and as the front sags through the Southeast, we may expect some strong storms Sunday afternoon and early evening into the Southeast.

Monday's risk is, again, expected to be lower, but it's still one to watch. As the low pressure area moves offshore into the Atlantic, it's forecast to dramatically deepen - becoming yet another nor'easter sailing north for New England. But in the South, this strengthening will help to fuel the cold front as it droops down through the Florida Peninsula, with the potential to spark some strong storms as it collides with mild, moist air in Central and South Florida. If you have outdoor plans in the Sunshine State on Monday, be sure to check your local weather alerts before heading out.

Stormy Saturday - recap

Severe storms left parts of the South bruised and battered in their wake, after pelting baseball-sized hail down on parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi on Saturday night. 

Watch below: Severe storms fire up through Saturday evening

The Storm Prediction Center recieved nearly 40 reports of hail large enough to top severe criteria, including numerous reports of ping pong, golf, and even baseball-sized stones. Significant damage to vehicles was reported near Mount Pleasant, Texas, after 2 inch wide hail rained down on the town.

Below are some dramatic images from Saturday night's severe weather.

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