Millions in South brace for another tornado outbreak Thursday

Story Highlights

  • Some 50 million people live where severe storms are possible Thursday.
  • Localized flash flooding could also be a concern in many of the same areas at risk for severe weather.
  • "The worst case scenario includes the potential for a 'violent' (EF-4) tornado.""

Millions of people across the South are bracing for another severe weather outbreak Thursday, just a week after dozens of tornadoes tore across the region.

Several long-track strong tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind gusts are possible Thursday and Thursday night, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.

Long-track tornadoes are twisters that carve up the ground for several miles, often causing devastating damage. 

States in the highest risk area include Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. In all, about 50 million people live where severe storms are possible Thursday, including Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee.

“The worst-case scenario includes the potential for a ‘violent’ (EF-4) tornado,” the weather service in Birmingham said. 

The season ahead:The 2021 tornado season may be more destructive because of La Niña. Here’s the forecast.

Localized flash flooding could also be a concern in many of the same areas at risk for severe weather, Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce said. That includes the central Gulf Coast and the Tennessee and Ohio valleys. 

A tornado touched down in Wayne County, Miss., ripping through the area and leaving damage in its wake. (Photo: Basilio Yanez via Storyful)

Severe weather and rainfall “are a recipe for a dangerous weather setup in the mid-South on Thursday,” the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center warned. 

It’s tornado season: Here’s how to prepare

Ashlyn Jackson, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Jackson office, encouraged residents there to have more than one warning system in place in case severe weather strikes.

“Especially at night, sometimes things like tornado sirens won’t be enough to wake you up, so I would tell people to have other methods to stay weather-aware,” she said.

The threat of severe weather will ebb as the storm system moves east on Friday, Dolce said.

Contributing: Keisha Rowe, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

1:02am CDT #SPC Day2 Outlook Moderate Risk: over a large part of mississippi, portions of central and northern alabama and adjacent areas of western and middle tennessee https://t.co/rEAejNpVr0pic.twitter.com/npNSzBrLlk

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