The next severe weather event to threaten the nation will get underway Thursday afternoon. The intense thunderstorms will fire from Springfield, Mo., to just north of Houston, Texas. A potent storm emerging from the Rockies will serve as the thunderstorms' trigger.

The thunderstorms will press into the lower Mississippi Valley Thursday night. The cities of Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; Shreveport, La.; and Jackson, Miss.; will be threatened.

The area from New Orleans, La., to Lexington, Ky., will lie in the threat zone on Friday. This also includes Birmingham, Ala., and Nashville, Tenn.

The strongest thunderstorms from Thursday afternoon to Friday have the potential to produce damaging winds, window-shattering hail and blinding downpours. Tornadoes may also touch down and cause destruction. The tornado threat will be the greatest with the severe weather Thursday afternoon and evening.

Story by Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski