Tornado warning for millions in southern US week after rare outbreak 'of a dozen twisters' tore through regionMarch 24, 2021
A TORNADO warning is now in effect for millions of Americans living in the south – just one week after a rare outbreak of twisters tore through the region.
Some 50 million people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are facing multiple long-track strong tornadoes, golfball-sized hail and 70mph gusts starting Thursday morning that may continue that night and into Friday.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has warned of these terrifying twisters which can last for hours, carving up the ground for several miles and usually leaving devastation in their wake.
The rain and thunderstorms will reportedly start by lunchtime tomorrow in Louisiana and Mississippi, before rapidly moving east through the day and bringing storms to Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
There are concerns that this could be the start of an active tornado season because the La Niña pattern is set to continue until April this year, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
"A potential outbreak of severe storms including several long track strong tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind will exist Thursday into Thursday evening across a portion of the lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast States," said the Storm Prediction Center.
Millions of people living in Birmingham, AL; Jackson, MS; Memphis and Nashville in TN, and Atlanta, GA, are now forced to prepare once more for wild weather this year.
"The worst-case scenario includes the potential for a 'violent' (EF-4) tornado," the weather service in Birmingham said.
Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce also warned of flash flooding in some areas during the tempest.
NWS' Weather Prediction Center warned the tornadoes, rain and storms "are a recipe for a dangerous weather setup in the mid-South on Thursday."
Jackson meteorologist Ashlyn Jackson urged residents there to get their weather plan ready to go once the storm hits, "especially at night."
"Sometimes things like tornado sirens won't be enough to wake you up, so I would tell people to have other methods to stay weather-aware," she said.
As the storm moves east, the severity will subside, according to Dolce.
Forecasts demonstrate a level 4 – out of five – "moderate risk" for severe storms across northern Mississippi, southwestern Tennessee and northwestern Alabama.
This categorizations means "widespread severe storms are likely," according to the SPC, bringing hail, rain and twisters.
By tonight, a new storm system will sweep the Plains from central Texas through Mississippi, with central and the northeastern parts of the Lone Star States facing a level 3 out of 5, "enhanced risk" categorization.
This could lead to storms and there are Flash Flood Watches in effect for areas like New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Gulfport, Mississippi as the storm moves across the Deep South.
The NWS office in Jackson, Mississippi noted: "All modes of severe weather are possible, including tornadoes, some of which could be strong (and) long track, large hail greater than golf ball size (and) damaging winds (greater than) 70 mph."
Today, the SPC said "at this time, the best potential for strong tornadoes appears to extend from parts of central/northern MS into western/middle TN and central/northern AL, mainly Thursday afternoon and evening as storms move generally northeastward."
By Friday, the cyclone should have abated but there may still be rain and thunderstorms in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Last week, Mississippi and Alabama were battered by a whopping 49 tornadoes Wednesday and Thursday with a path length of nearly 210 miles as they ripped through the South.
A series of twisters swept across the south earlier this month bringing "baseball-sized hail," destroying homes, damaging property, and putting 45million Americans in danger.
It continued into the Southeast and the Eastern Seaboard, hitting Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and putting millions of people at risk, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
The NWS had issued a are “High Risk" tornado weather warning, noting “numerous tornadoes, several intense and long track, scattered damaging winds, some hurricane force" and "baseball size" hail.
Shocking footage shocked the terrifying tornado pummel Texas as severe winter weather pummeled the US, triggering flash flooding, blizzards, and dangerous conditions.
Cellphone footage showed the violently rotating twister in open fields of Lubbock as the first round of storms hit north-west Texas on March 13.
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