Severe weather, including tornadoes, hail and damaging wind gusts, hit parts of the South on Tuesday, putting an estimated 11 million people in nine states at risk.
The National Weather Service confirmed that several tornadoes occurred in Mississippi, with the storm ravaging the region. The NWS said a flurry of tornado watches and warnings were also issued for parts of Alabama and Louisiana. It was not clear whether there was any significant damage or injuries.
NWS after 7 p.m. local time residents advised Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, to take cover due to a “potentially destructive tornado now on the ground”.
As of late Tuesday, the NWS reported that a “tornado” of remaining severe tornadoes was for central Mississippi and west central Alabama. According to the NWS Storm Prediction Center, the bad weather began in the afternoon and was expected to last through Wednesday morning.
Videos posted to social media Tuesday afternoon showed strong wind gusts and hail pelting the northwest Alabama town of Muscle Shoals, while thunderstorms drenched the Morgan County area in north central Alabama. Video also showed Trees fell in the west central Alabama city of Utah. NWS reported that storm The one that struck the Utah area “produced the signature of a tornado’s debris.”
Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bates said Tuesday evening there was “a high risk for some flooding across much of the South,” including cities such as Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama. Bates said Nashville, Tennessee and the Alabama cities of Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery could also be hit by the storm.
According to Mike Chesterfield, director of weather presentations at The Weather Channel, the cause of the storm was 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 my twitter account on Tuesday to warn residents to be prepared for power outages and to stay off the roads if possible.