East Coast on alert for tornadoes as Memorial Day weekend begins

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(NEW YORK) — A tornado watch has been issued from North Carolina to Virginia to Maryland as Memorial Day weekend begins.

The tornado watch — which includes the cities of Raleigh, Richmond, Baltimore and Washington, D.C,. — lasts until 2 p.m.

Friday afternoon and evening, severe storms will stretch from New York City to South Carolina, bringing a threat of damaging winds and more tornadoes.

Also, flood watches have been issued for six states from New Jersey to North Carolina. Two to four inches of rain is possible in a short time.

The Heartland could also see severe weather this holiday weekend.

Damaging winds, huge hail and tornadoes are possible from Oklahoma to Nebraska to Minnesota to Wisconsin.

This severe weather could disrupt Memorial Day travel.

About 39.2 million people are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend — up 8.3% from last year, according to AAA.

More than 12.4 million people are expected to fly between May 26 and May 30, according to online travel-booking platform Hopper.

ABC News’ Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

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