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'Strong Tornadoes' Feared as Storm Aims at Gulf Coast

A powerful storm could spawn severe thunderstorms and even a handful of dangerous tornadoes across the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday, according to forecasters.

"A few tornadoes are expected and conditions favor one or two of these to be strong tornadoes," NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said. "Cities most at risk are New Orleans to Mobile with a lesser threat for Houston and Atlanta."

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Thunderstorms were expected to march east from Texas in the morning into Louisiana just after noon local time, and then onto Mississippi, Alabama and Florida later in the day and evening, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth.

The biggest threat would come at sunset and into the evening with storm chasers being of limited help predicting lead time for any twisters on the ground because of the dark, according to Karins.

Atlanta, Georgia, and the Florida cities of Pensacola and Tallahassee were likely to be most at risk overnight into Wednesday, Roth added. The same storm was later expected to produce damaging winds across the the Mid-Atlantic, he said.