Texas Winter Storm Latest Updates: Travel Delays, Flight Cancellations, Tornadoes and Flooding Forecast as Severe Weather Batters Central U.S.

Severe thunderstorms that caused power outages for tens of thousands of Texans are set to continue wreaking havoc on the central United States on Thursday and into Friday, bringing tornadoes and travel delays.

The storms are likely to bring gusts of winds with the potential to damage property, cause flash flooding, hail, as well as lightning strikes and tornadoes, warned Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist, on the weather service's website. He told residents of the region to expect the "full spectrum of severe weather."

Read more: Midwest winter storm forecast, path: North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota bracing for storm, post-holiday travel hindered

The wintry weather affecting the central U.S. has brought flooding to the south, and the threat of blizzards to the north, CNN reported. The broadcaster's meteorologist Haley Brink said that on Thursday, some eight million people between the Upper Midwest and New Mexico were affected by the weather. And as the air turns hot and humid, thunderstorms will become severe in the deep south, according to AccuWeather.

Airports including Dallas-Forth Worth, Austin-Bergstrom, Houston Bush, and Tulsa International in Oklahoma were impacted by delays caused by the severe weather on Thursday. And some 55,000 people experienced power outages in Texas at around at around 7pm local time on Wednesday, AccuWeather stated.

Wind damage and power outages have been reported around Wichita Falls, Texas, after severe thunderstorms rolled through earlier this evening (Photos/@rguthrie0209): https://t.co/Pk8iCmmNFX pic.twitter.com/FCrh7YcTXd

— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) December 27, 2018

On Wednesday, Cotton Bowl stadium officials in Dallas were forced to abandon the First Responder Bowl college bowl game after lightning struck nearby. The game was initially delayed, but was canceled and after the stormy weather showed no sign of abating, CNN reported.

Starting in Texas, the severe weather is expected to pass through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to CNN.

Houston, Little Rock, and Arkansas will be among the hardest-hit areas and both drivers and air passengers should expect delays. Thanks to the squall line, some parts could face several storms at once through Thursday, the AccuWeather forecast stated.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio commented: "We are also monitoring the potential for a separate area of locally severe thunderstorms to erupt in parts of Iowa, western Illinois and northern Missouri on Thursday.

"If all the key ingredients come into place, there is a risk for a tornado or two in this zone as well," Rossio said.

By Thursday evening, western Tennessee, Mississippi, southeastern Louisiana and pockets of western Alabama may experience the severe weather. At this stage, Tornadoes will become less of a threat, with such areas warned to instead expect flooding caused by heavy rain, and strong winds.

According to Accuweather, as Thursday turns into Friday, intense thunderstorms may batter northern Florida, Alabama, Georgia, eastern Tennessee and the Carolinas. Into Friday night, the northeastern Gulf coast and southern Atlantic Seaboard should expect strong winds and heavy rain which could trigger flooding.

texas cotton bowl stadium
A sign signalling delays at the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl between the Boise State Broncos and the Boston College Eagles at Cotton Bowl on December 26, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. The game was later cancelled due to severe weather. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images