Severe weather, large hail and devastating wind gusts from tornadoes are expected to lash parts of the South on Tuesday, putting 11 million people in nine states at risk as the storm rages on.
According to the NWS, residents living in central Mississippi to northeastern Louisiana will be most affected, with some tornadoes gaining intensity in the overnight hours. Mississippi cities at risk for large hail and tornadoes include Jackson, Vicksburg, Starkville and Meridian. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the risk of severe weather in those areas is 4, with 5 being the highest.
Damaging wind gusts are possible in the central Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley.
Severe weather is expected to begin in the afternoon and last into the late evening, with a few tornadoes expected to intensify.
“This severe weather outbreak will be accompanied by the potential for all kinds of severe weather, including large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes,” said Mike Chesterfield, director of weather presentations at The Weather Channel. “Multiple tornadoes are possible, with some capable of becoming long-lasting tornadoes with the potential for damage.”
The cause of the storm, Chesterfield said, is a cold front.
“A strong cold front will move east tonight bringing in warm moist air, which will likely support a number of severe thunderstorms ahead,” he said. “The risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will be increased by winds that will be moving overhead along with increased height and strong jet stream energy.”
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency used their twitter account on Tuesday to warn residents to be prepared for power outages and to stay off the roads if possible.