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Arkansas, Tennessee in the crosshairs for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes

ATLANTA (AP) - Severe weather will bring the potential for flash flooding and tornadoes across a large part of the South, stretching from Texas to Georgia, forecasters say.

On Tuesday, storms could bring large hail and possible tornadoes to Texas, Oklahoma and Gulf Coast states, the national Storm Prediction Center said.

Forecasters issued tornado warnings in southwest Alabama as storms moved through overnight. Some areas received more than 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) of rain. Schools in Cullman County, north of Birmingham, delayed opening Tuesday morning because of flooding caused by heavy rains.

On Wednesday, several tornadoes will be possible in a region that includes large parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Louisiana and Tennessee, forecasters said.

The area at enhanced risk for severe storms Wednesday is home to more than 9 million people and includes the cities of Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Jackson, Mississippi.

"Some of the tornadoes could become strong," the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi warned in its outlook for Wednesday's storms.

In Alabama, strong tornadoes, golf ball-sized hail and winds of up to 60 mph (97 kph) will be possible on Wednesday, the weather service's Birmingham office said.