Tornadoes: Severe storms expected in the South threaten more than 40 million people


Severe thunderstorms are expected to offer the potential for a monstrous trio of tornadoes, damaging winds and hail to millions of people in parts of the Southeast and the Mississippi Valley starting Tuesday afternoon, forecasters warn.

According to Storm Prediction Center.

The greatest potential for severe weather, a Moderate Risk Level 4 out of 5, is for those in parts of central Mississippi, including Jackson, and parts of east-central Louisiana.

The threat, a Level 4 out of 5, is rare that year for this region, which typically sees tornadoes in the spring and summer.

“Severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes, very large hail, and a few severe wind gusts are expected this afternoon overnight in parts of the lower to middle Mississippi Valley and parts of the southeast” , explained the forecast center. A few strong tornadoes will be possible.

Hail, strong winds and tornadoes are also possible in the Level 3 Heightened Risk Zone, which covers 3 million people in much of Mississippi and parts of western Alabama, southwestern Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and a small portion of eastern Texas.

Some of these tornadoes could occur Tuesday through Wednesday night, making them even more threatening due to difficulties in notifying people who need to seek better shelter during those hours.

Follow the storms as they develop here.

“Another challenge with nighttime tornadoes, especially in the fall and winter, is that the storms typically move very quickly, sometimes 50 or 60 mph,” said Bill Bunting, chief of forecasting operations at the Storm Prediction Center, at CNN Weather.

“That means making decisions quickly and taking shelter based on the information in the severe thunderstorm or tornado warning, and not waiting for the storm to arrive,” Bunting added.

Parts of the region could also experience heavy rains that could cause flooding due to repeated cycles of thunderstorms, Bunting noted.

Widespread rainfall is expected to range between 1 and 2 inches, with some local areas likely to see up to 4 inches.

In anticipation of the storm’s potential impact, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reminded residents to document any damage they sustain.

“We encourage Mississippians to take photos of their homes BEFORE the storms. These photos may be used for insurance purposes and/or possible assistance if your home is damaged in the storm,” the agency said on its website. Twitter account.

The moderate risk the storm system brings to the region marks the second time the Weather Service has issued a Level 4 out of 5 threat this month, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

It’s also the first time there have been two Level 4 threats in November since the storm center began using its five-tier system of severe storm risk categories in 2014, Ward added.

The weather service issued the previous moderate threat on Nov. 4, resulting in 62 tornado reports across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to the prediction center. Many homes and businesses have been damaged.

And since tornadoes aren’t common in the area this time of year, Tuesday’s storm could blind some people.

“Severe thunderstorms in the fall and winter can be extremely impactful and can sometimes catch people off guard, as thunderstorms tend to occur less frequently in the colder months,” Bunting explained.

The same storm system also brought heavy snowfall to 13 western and upper Midwest states, where more than 15 million people are currently subject to winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings. .

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