A severe storm threat will exist by the afternoon over parts of the lower Midwest and the Tennessee Valley. The trigger will be the cold front associated with the blizzard that crippled the central Plains and is now dropping snow over the Upper Midwest.

Southeastern Missouri and southern portions of Illinois and Indiana, as well as parts of Kentucky and Tennessee will be under the gun of the strongest storms. Threats with the strongest storms will include damaging winds over 60 mph and hail up to the size of golf balls. A few isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the warm and moist surge flowing in from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the storm may also produce a few strong storms along the coast. By tonight, the risk of severe storms will increase over the Southeast.

Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans