A prolonged storm system will bring multiple hazards to the eastern half of the country over the next 48 hours, with possible snow, rain, severe thunderstorms, and widespread wind gusts.

On Thursday morning, strong storms left over from Wednesday’s tornado-producing thunderstorms rumbled across the Southeast, the Gulf Coast and the Florida Panhandle.

On the north side of the same storm system, strong winds were affecting the Midwest and the Ohio River Valley, and some tree damage had already been reported in Illinois.

Nearly 50 million people woke up to wind warnings Thursday morning, in an area stretching from Arkansas and northern Alabama to western and northern New York.

West of the thunderstorms, snow blanketed parts of northern Missouri and much of Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Michigan early Thursday. A few snow storms were even reported in Iowa.

Through the course of the day on Thursday, this dynamic storm system is expected to continue and expand in scope. Strong storms will be possible in two areas in particular: the northern Ohio River Valley and the east-central Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle.

Damaging winds will be the biggest risk in both regions, with cities like Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis and Detroit on guard in the northern risk zone, and Mobile, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida, at risk in the southern zone.

Through Friday, the Chicago area is forecast to see peak wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph. Detroit braces for gusts up to 45-50 mph, and Indianapolis may see gusts reaching 55-60 mph. Buffalo, New York, has the strongest winds in its forecast, at 60 mph.

These widespread and long-duration wind gusts will likely down trees, cause power outages and delay air travel until Thursday night.

As the storms progress, snow will continue across northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan, with several inches expected through Friday morning.

Some showers will also move to the northeast, with a winter mix of sleet and freezing rain possible as the northern edge of the storm system interacts with cooler air in New England.

But in parts of the Ohio Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast, strong southerly winds will bring a warm, spring-like air mass. High temperatures are forecast to be 15 to 25 degrees above average Thursday across the Ohio Valley, with even higher readings expected Friday in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Temperatures in Richmond, Virginia, are forecast to soar into the 70s, New York City in the mid-50s and Washington, D.C., in the mid-60s on Friday, making it look more late. March than early February.

This heat could generate several all-time highs Thursday and Friday, including for cities like Detroit; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut; Binghamton, New York; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Temperatures will still be mild by February standards through the weekend.