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St. Louis awakes to hail as Midwest on alert for tornadoes Friday

St. Louis was hit by hail Friday morning. Severe storm warnings were issued for Kentucky Friday as a weather system builds,

By Associated Press / March 2, 2012

Gene Hauptmann surveys the damage caused by a tornado in Harrisburg, Illinois where six people died Wednesday.

REUTERS/Jim Young

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A weather system that is being watched closely Friday in parts of the South and Midwest has dumped a large amount of hail in parts of eastern Missouri.

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Many St. Louis-area residents were awakened by the crackling sound of hail on the roof Friday. There were several reports of hail the size of a quarter in places ranging from Florissant in St. Louis County to Hermann, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis.

There were no immediate reports of significant damage.

The National Weather Service says the southern Illinois city of Harrisburg, where six people were killed in a tornado this week, dodged more severe weather that had many worried new storms would hamper cleanup efforts.

RECOMMENDED: Tornado checklist - what to do, and what not to do

Forecasters had said thunderstorms early Friday were possible around Harrisburg and the rest of the region. But the night passed with little trouble in the city where a tornado hit early Wednesday.

Meteorologist Deanna Lindstrom says Harrisburg's 9,000 residents aren't out of the woods, with more potential of thunderstorms later Friday.

The weather service urges the region to remain vigilant, given the unpredictability of storms.

Wednesday morning's destruction came as part of a storm system that killed 13 people in four states.

Forecasters caution that a significant severe weather outbreak is expected in Kentucky Friday. The National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning at 7:15 am for south central Kentucky - and more storms are expected later in the day.

Two days after tornadoes raked the commonwealth of Kentucky, a building weather system that features abundant Gulf moisture and abnormally high temperatures on Friday also includes an approaching cold front.

The National Weather Service  said the result could be strong tornadoes that could cut long trails across the state Friday afternoon and evening.

Thunderstorms that developed Friday morning are expected to become stronger as the day heats up. The main threat is large hail, but strong tornadoes are a possibility. The area of most concern is south of the Bluegrass Parkway and east of Interstate 65.

Additionally, a flash flood watch will be in effect from Friday afternoon through Friday night for eastern Kentucky counties south of Interstate 64.

RECOMMENDED: Tornado checklist - what to do, and what not to do

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