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Multiple people injured after severe weather strikes Tennessee, officials say

A storm front approaches downtown Nashville, Tenn., which spawned an apparent tornado north of the city, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.Nicole Hester/Associated Press

Clashing air masses fueled severe weather Saturday, including powerful storms that struck Tennessee, leaving multiple people injured, and set up the likelihood of heavy rains and strong winds affecting the Northeast on Sunday, officials said.

Three weather-related injuries, including one head injury, were reported in Dresden, Tennessee, on Saturday, said Ray Wiggington, emergency management director for Weakley County.

At least one mobile home was flipped over, he said.

All of the injuries occurred on Summers Road in Dresden, he said, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was caused by “an actual tornado or just straight-line winds.”

He said that a powerful EF3 tornado, which has winds of 136 to 165 mph, “hit almost in the exact same area” in December 2021. “That’s on everybody’s mind,” he said.

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A severe storm that struck Clarksville, Tennessee, resulted in multiple injuries and structural damage, said Tammy Arms, an official with the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency in Clarksville. She said the North Clarksville area had been hit the hardest.

Tornado watches and warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings were posted in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee on Saturday.

Though it’s December, the first month of meteorological winter, temperatures across the eastern United States this weekend were more in line with early autumn.

That warmth was bringing with it a surge of moisture that will deliver "significant precipitation" from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast through Sunday, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

The National Weather Service in New York issued a flood watch for parts of southern Connecticut, northeast New Jersey and southeast New York, including the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The flood watch is in effect from Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night. Officials in New York on Saturday forecast heavy rains and strong to damaging winds late Sunday and into Monday.

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The warmth that built up will be progressively pushed out by a colder air mass through the weekend.

Here’s where to expect extreme weather.

A few tornadoes are possible in the South

The storm began to ramp up Friday night just west of the Mississippi River with severe storms capable of producing hail in eastern Oklahoma and most of Arkansas.

These storms could bring damaging winds, hail and possibly a few tornadoes.

While it may seem odd to think of tornadoes in December, this cluster of southern states is, on average, the area of the country that sees the most tornadoes during this month.

There’s a widespread risk of flooding

These thunderstorms will also deliver beneficial rainfall to the South, which has been experiencing drought conditions.

Though the area may receive 1 to 3 inches of rain, the ground and stream beds are so dry that flooding, while possible, remains at a lower risk level.

By Sunday, the influx of moisture will feed into the eastern United States, delivering rain from Florida to Maine.

The above-average amount of moisture in the air should lead to a low risk of flooding across wide parts of the region.

However, the storm will sweep through quickly enough that it is likely to blunt the rainfall amounts, limiting the overall flood risk in most areas.

More than 40 daily rainfall records from the mid-Atlantic to New England will be challenged on Sunday.

Winter weather returns for some on Sunday night

As colder air pushes through Sunday and into Monday, the rain will transition to a wintry mix and snow, most likely affecting higher elevations of the Appalachians and the interior Northeast.

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A car is buried under rubble on Main Street after an apparent tornado hit Hendersonville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.Andrew Nelles/Associated Press

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.