Rick Reichmuth provides the national weather forecast for Easter weekend.
Millions of Americans may be staying at home over Easter weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic, but forecasters are warning a storm system is bringing the threat for strong tornadoes starting Saturday as a snowstorm targets the country's northern tier.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) said that severe thunderstorms are expected Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning from west Texas into parts of Oklahoma, before a significant "outbreak" into the Southeast on Easter.
"We've got a lot of weather going on including some really big severe weather tomorrow on Easter Sunday, so a lot of people need to be watching this, some really big tornadoes that we're going to be watching," Fox News Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on "Fox & Friends Weekend."
According to Reichmuth, a storm system that's brought rain and snow to California all week is "ejecting into the Plains" on Saturday and bringing the threat of severe weather.
A severe weather outbreak is possible heading into Easter Sunday from Texas along the Gulf Coast. (Fox News)
The SPC said that during the day on Saturday thunderstorms should fire in west Texas, the state's panhandle area and along the Interstate 35 corridor by late Saturday bringing the threat of large hail and damaging winds.
The threat of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, includes much of west Texas into parts of Oklahoma on Saturday. (Fox News)
"Definitely a tornado or two, certainly some pretty significant hail," Reichmuth said Saturday.
The SPC said that some 17 million people may be impacted by the storms on Saturday, including the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Abilene and even into the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Oklahoma City metro areas throughout the day.
A storm system is bringing the threat of tornadoes on Saturday in parts of Texas. (Fox News)
Any severe thunderstorms that develop in west Texas are then expected to "surge east during the overnight hours," according to the SPC.
On Easter Sunday, the storm system is forecast to cause an outbreak of severe thunderstorms into Sunday night, with the greatest threat from central and northern Louisiana, southeast Arkansas, much of Mississippi and into central Alabama.
"We're talking about the threat for some very large and long-lasting tornadoes," Reichmuth said. "It could be very damaging."
A severe weather outbreak is forecast for Easter Sunday across the Southeast, with the greatest threats in Louisiana, Mississippi, and into Alabama. (Fox News)
The SPC said that some 65 million people are under a threat of severe weather on Easter Sunday including the cities of Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta.
Forecasters believe an increasing tornado threat will develop Sunday in the late morning from the early afternoon in western Lousiana as storms form that could produce strong tornadoes, large hail, and damaging wind gusts.
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"If you're in this area, be making your plans now about how you're going to handle your day tomorrow," Reichmuth said.
Forecasters believe that by Sunday night, widespread damaging winds and tornadoes could be a threat across much of Alabama and into western and central Georgia into the overnight hours. In addition to the threat of severe storms, there is also the potential for very heavy rain on Easter Sunday that may lead to flooding in parts of the Southeast.
The storm system will also make for a frozen Easter weekend along the country's northern sections.
Forecasters say that a "significant surge of cold Canadian air" is setting the stage for a snowstorm from the Rockies into the Upper Midwest.
A snowstorm is forecast to bring impacts from Montana to Wisconsin over Easter weekend. (Fox News)
Winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories are in effect for areas of Montana southeastward to Nebraska on Saturday then northeastward to Minnesota and Wisconsin for later Sunday into Monday for the next part of the
storm. Up to nine inches of snow could fall before the system passes.
"We're going to be watching some pretty significant snow move there," Reichmuth said.