High threat for ‘violent’ tornado outbreak in southern states on Thursday

Forecasters say that a major tornado outbreak is expected in several southern states on Thursday afternoon and into Thursday evening.

The NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) says that a tornado outbreak is expected Thursday afternoon and evening across the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley, including portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The SPC lists the tornado risk level as 5 out of 5.

Cities named “at risk” by the SPC include Tupelo, Mississippi; Columbus, Mississippi, Decatur, Alabama; Madison, Alabama; and Florence, Alabama.

The severe weather system is expected to bring with it several strong long-track tornadoes, destructive wind gusts greater than 75 m.p.h., and hail greater than 2 inches in diameter. Long-track tornadoes stay on the ground for a longer period of time and are considered to be a more destructive type of tornado.

You can keep up with the latest weather information from SPC here.