Millions across U.S. in path of severe storms

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014

Millions in the path of severe storms

  • More than 50 million from Minnesota to Texas set to be affected Thursday
  • Some Iowans, Minnesotans should expect large hail
  • Storms will hit Arkansas to Indiana on Friday, with rain continuing into Saturday

(CNN) -- More than 50 million people from Minnesota to Texas are in the path of severe storms Thursday, CNN meteorologist Sherri Pugh said.

The cities expected to get slammed are Des Moines, Iowa; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Oklahoma City; and Dallas.

There could be a few tornadoes from Oklahoma to Minnesota, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said, with the greatest threat of twisters in Iowa and Minnesota in the Des Moines and Minneapolis areas Thursday afternoon and evening.

Iowans in the northern and central parts of the state and Minnesotans in the southern part of the state need to look out for large hail. Strong, damaging winds are also in the forecast.

On Friday, strong storms will probably strike from Arkansas to Indiana, with rain in the Midwest, South and Northeast as the system moves east. That blustery, wet weather could affect as many as 14 million people, Pugh said. Saturday should bring more rain for those areas, too.

Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, will also get wet as 1 to 3 inches of rain is forecast. There area has been dealing with recent heavy rains, so the risk is high in those areas for flash flooding, and there's been a flash flood watch issued.

Tired of reading about rain? Sorry, there's more.

Rain will begin drenching the Pacific Northwest on Thursday, with the system moving to the Northern Rockies on Friday and Saturday.