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A Wet Round One Likely at the 2012 Masters

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Mother Nature may intervene with early rounds at the 2012 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.

Through Friday, several weather systems will drift slowly across the South with showers and storms.

The wettest and perhaps the most volatile weather is likely this afternoon and evening, following the cancellation of the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday evening due to a thunderstorm downpour.

The wettest day of the week will coincide with round 1 scheduled for today. There is the risk of multiple showers and/or thunderstorms and hence the greatest risk for disruptions.

The storms this afternoon into this evening could be locally severe with the potential for frequent lightning strikes, large hail and damaging wind gusts.

The thunderstorms will be produced by the same storm system that delivered tornadoes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area during Tuesday afternoon and the torrential rain and frequent lightning in the New Orleans Wednesday morning.

Meteorologist Bill Deger has more on the potential for drenching and damaging storms across the Southeast today.

The best chance of wet weather on Friday is during the morning hours. A push of dry air is forecast to begin during the afternoon, chasing away low clouds and areas of fog rain and drizzle.

The weather looks to be mostly sunny and delightful Saturday and Easter Sunday with highs in the 70s. While thunderstorms are the last thing golfing interests want, you can't blame folks in the South for wanting rain. Much of central and southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, northern Florida and portions of South Carolina are experiencing extreme (red) to exceptional (dark red) drought conditions.

Conditions over a much larger area of the southern Atlantic Seaboard range from abnormally dry (yellow) to moderate (light orange) drought.

Last year's Masters was quite warm, but just fell short of the warmest on record. 1978 holds the crown for the warmest Masters with an average daily high of 86.8 degrees.

The 2011 Masters brought an average daily high of 86.3 degrees. April 9, 2011 brought record heat for the date with a high of 91 degrees. The hottest day ever for the tournament was April 7, 1967 when the temperature reached 92 degrees.

A powerful thunderstorm hit the course during the middle of Tuesday night, between 12:00 midnight and 1:00 a.m., April 4, 2012. Strong winds downed a few trees, while over an inch of rain fell in an hour's time, leading to flash flooding.

Another round of storms clobbered the Augusta area late Wednesday afternoon with drenching rain and gusty winds.

This story was originally published on Monday, April 2, 2012 and has been updated.

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Alex Sosnowski