A new wave of severe weather rolled through eastern Missouri Thursday night with scattered reports of tornado sightings.
Members of the public reported a tornado shortly after 7 p.m. local time near the town of Washington, by Franklin County emergency management director Abraham Cook said there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.
At about 5:30 a.m. Thursday, a tornado hit suburban St. Louis. It was part of a potent spring storm that's forecast to hammer much of the central U.S. Thursday with a wild mix of severe storms that could bring flooding rain and heavy snow.
"Thursday will be a prime day for severe weather, with risks ranging from damaging wind gusts and large hail to flash flooding and tornadoes spanning multiple states," said AccuWeather severe weather expert Henry Margusity,
A tornado touched down briefly in the St. Louis suburb of University City early Thursday, damaging some homes and bringing down trees and power lines. No injuries were immediately reported. Heavy rain also led to flooding in some areas.
Jim Sieveking of the National Weather Service in St. Louis says the tornado hit ground at 5:23 a.m. CT Thursday as a strong storm system with intense lightning and heavy rain moved through the St. Louis region.
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In addition to St. Louis, cities such as Little Rock and Memphis are at the greatest risk of severe storms, though Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati all could see severe weather Thursday.
As of late afternoon, tornado watches were posted in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.
Overall, "43 million people will be at risk for violent and dangerous storms on Thursday from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley," according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
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On the cold side of the storm system, heavy snow will plaster parts of the central and northern Plains iand nto the Upper Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service. Winter storm warnings are in place from Nebraska to Michigan
More than a foot of snow is possible from eastern Minnesota through northern Wisconsin into the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, AccuWeather predicts.
The Weather Channel has named the storm Winter Storm Yona.
Contributing: Associated Press