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Severe Weather Outbreak Continues for the Deep South Thursday

A significant severe weather outbreak, including numerous tornadoes, is expected across the Deep South and parts of the Southeast Thursday. A TORNADO WATCH has been issued for much of the South and Southeast late tonight, even for locations near the Ohio Valley!

An Enhanced Risk in Orange (level 3 out of 5) has been issued for parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee for the potential of strong, long track tornadoes, 2″ or larger hail and wind gusts higher than 70 mph.

All hazards including strong tornadoes will be possible. A large part of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky are included in the risk for tornadoes EF-2 strength or stronger. This happens when there is a combination of upper level lift, surface heating and wind turning with height. Any storm that forms in this environment will quickly be able to rotate and will need to be watched for the possibility of a strong, long track tornado.

Gusty winds and large hail are also likely with any severe thunderstorm that forms in this environment. The highest wind gusts are expected in the red area in Mississippi, Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and Alabama.


Severe storms and heavy rain continue to be possible into the evening hours even as energy in the atmosphere starts to decrease. The strongest storms will be closest to the cold front and center of low pressure. As the storm system moves east into the overnight hours, isolated to scattered severe storms will be possible in the Ohio River Valley along the cold front. Gusty straight line winds and 1″ hail will be the biggest threats in these areas, but a brief spin-up tornado can’t be ruled out.

The severe weather threat continues into Georgia, the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic Friday.

Make sure you and your family have multiple ways to receive weather warnings especially since some of these storms will happen when it’s dark outside and even overnight.

Stay with WeatherNation for updates on this severe weather event.

About the author
Kara has always been passionate about weather and knew from an early age that she wanted to become a meteorologist. Living in different regions of the country and experiencing weather events ranging from ice storms to tornadoes drove her to pursue a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout college, storm chasing became a regular event for Kara, where she saw fir... Load Morest-hand the power of the atmosphere. Kara graduated cum laude from OU and decided to further her meteorology education with a Master's degree from Mississippi State University. The deadly April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak struck while Kara was studying at MSU; her first “Dixie Alley” tornado event and an up close glimpse into the destruction of the storms she so closely studied. Her broadcast career began in Elvis’ birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, where she earned her Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. Kara's career has included coverage of all types of severe weather including tornado events, flooding and tropical systems across multiple southern states. Recently she helped cover the 2020 Easter Sunday deadly tornado outbreak in southeast Mississippi. In her free time, you can find Kara outdoors exploring new areas with her mini poodle,Truffles. Kara is also an avid runner and frequently races in 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. Say hi to Kara on Twitter and Facebook!