Tornado outbreak tearing through east-central U.S.

An outbreak of tornadoes is keeping much of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on alert Friday.

Tornado warnings were first issued in four Tennessee counties at 10:27 a.m., active through 11 a.m. Warnings have since been issued in parts of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Following on Twitter, I can see that new twisters are popping up one after another and being tracked for miles as meteorologists work to quickly warn a broad and heavily populated swath of the nation.

Henry Margusity, extreme weather blogger for AccuWeather.com in State College, Pa., is sharing reports of houses blown off their foundations near Chattanooga, Tenn., and damage from 50 mph wind gusts in parts of Kentucky.

TV news station WeatherNation shared on Facebook a viewer-submitted photo of golf ball-sized hail.

The storms are expected to remain active and pose tornado threats throughout the day. As of 1:40 p.m., tornado watches were in effect for parts of seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

By the time the weather system makes it further east, it's expected to give Baltimore rain, and perhaps some thunder and lightning, Friday night and Saturday. Stay tuned for any further developments.

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