The Washington Post

Violent tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak brewing for third straight day


Risk of severe weather from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. Probabilities are given for severe weather effects (large hail, damaging winds, or a tornado) within 25 miles of a given point in shaded area. (NOAA Storm Prediction Center)

A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch has been posted for extreme southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, and much of Mississippi until 7 p.m. central time. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center does not mince words in describing the threat:

A VERY VOLATILE SETUP IS DEVELOPING FOR PORTIONS OF MS LATER TODAY AS A MOIST AND VERY UNSTABLE AIR MASS RETURNS INTO AN AREA WITH IMPRESSIVE LOW LEVEL AND DEEP LAYER VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES. . . .

ALL PARAMETERS SUGGEST THAT STRONG/VIOLENT AND LONG-TRACK TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE. VERY LARGE HAIL AND WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS ARE ALSO A CONCERN.

Tornado watches also extend into northern Alabama and south central Tennessee. Numerous tornado warnings are currently in effect.

Twitter reports from the Weather Channel indicate damaging storms have impacted Huntsville Alabama where there have been reports of a wall cloud, downed trees, and wind gusts to at least 60 mph.

Other major populated areas threatened by the possibility of signficant tornadoes today, according to AccuWeather, include Greenwood, Jackson, and Tupelo, Ms., Birmingham, Al., Nashville and Chattanooga, Tn., and Rome and Atlanta, Ga.

The severe thunderstorm risk extends all the way to the East Coast. SPC just issued a tornado watch from northwest Virginia through central North Carolina.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

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