Alabama gov declares state of emergency as storms close in on gulf coast
Days after severe weather ripped through the Deep South, another bout of heavy rain and strong winds are threatening the region.
According to CNN, more than 50 million people are at risk of severe weather on Thursday (March 25) from the central Gulf Coast through the Ohio River Valley, with a potential tornado outbreak expected across the South.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) reports a high chance of tornadoes -- a level 5 out of 5 -- for some areas in the South.
The SPC warned Thursday morning of the threat of a few "long-tracked, violent tornadoes" later in the day and into the evening for the southeast, particularly parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
"Tornadoes, large to very large hail, and damaging winds to hurricane force also are possible over a broad area from the central Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley and southern Appalachians," the SPC said.
Long-track tornadoes are unusual because they're on the ground for an extended period of time. CNN notes that most tornadoes are on the ground for just minutes, but with some severe events, there can be tornadoes on the ground for hours. In such cases, these conditions often lead to widespread damage.
More than a million people are under the high threat for tornadoes, including in cities like Decatur and Madison in Alabama and Florence in Mississippi.
On Thursday morning, Alabama Governor Kay Ivy announced a state of emergency due to the severe weather threat.
Due to the threat of severe weather, I’m declaring a SOE for 28 counties. I urge all Alabamians to closely monitor the weather system as it continues to impact portions of AL, especially if you are in the line of the highest risk storms. https://t.co/23Eh9MkPYm #alwx #alpolitics pic.twitter.com/GW1yXPWNKL— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) March 25, 2021
According to CNN, by Thursday night, the storms are expected to evolve into a line as they track into parts of Alabama and Georgia. Experts predict that on Friday, most of the South should be clear with the exception of parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, where weakening showers and isolated thunderstorms may linger.
WBRZ’s Weather Team will be monitoring the situation so as to provide viewers with frequent updates on Channel 2 and WBRZ Plus.
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