A volatile day is in store for many states across the South, with high potential for dangerous tornadoes
Threats: Long-tracked tornadoes, damaging winds, flooding rain, large hail, lightning
States affected: LA, AR, MS, AL, TN, KY, MO, IL, GA
When: Thursday, March 25
Dangerous Severe Setup
An extremely dangerous situation is set to unfold across the south today into tonight, with all types of severe weather expected. Much of this area was impacted by severe storms last week.
All severe hazards can occur during this event, including hail, damaging winds and tornadoes, with the highest risk of tornadoes across portions of western and middle Tennessee, far southwestern Kentucky, northern Alabama, northern and central Mississippi and far eastern Arkansas Thursday afternoon and evening
Violent Tornadoes and Damaging Winds
The environment is favorable for any tornadoes that form to be large, long-tracked, and violent, so it is imperative to know where the place of shelter or refuge is within your business and ensure all persons on-site are able to safely reach and stay within shelter for the duration of the tornado warning.
Supercell storms today are also capable of producing damaging wind gusts up to 80 mph, which should be responded to in the same manner as a tornado threat, given the potential for lofted and wind-driven debris.
Large hail of 2 inches in diameter is also expected today, along with the threat of lightning from any storm that forms. Outdoor workers should have a way to receive warnings or be notified of impending threats and have a hardened place to shelter, keeping in mind that large hail can easily shatter windshields and roofs of vehicles.
There is a widespread risk of flooding with this strengthening system as storms produce extremely heavy rainfall from the South through the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley. Rivers and creeks are likely to overflow, producing flooding in adjacent areas, along with localized street flooding.
The greatest risk for flooding to occur will be from central Kentucky southward to Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, including cities like Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Rainfall amounts of up to 15 inches are possible through tonight. These storms will pose a significant threat to life and property, as well as the potential for prolonged business disruption. Make sure your organization is fully prepared for severe weather by incorporating site-specific alerts into your emergency procedures.