Damaging winds, tornadoes, isolated hail and flash flooding are possible Wednesday for certain southern states as the area continues to see record-breaking warm temperatures, according to the National Weather Service. The forecasted severe weather could touch down just weeks after ravaged the South and Midwest earlier this month.
Areas along the southeastern coast may be in for temperature highs in the 80s, with lows anticipated to be 15 to 30 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service Prediction Center. Parts of Mississippi recorded their hottest December day ever on Wednesday, according to CBS New York chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn.
A consequence of such warmth is “an increasingly favorable environment for severe weather” forecast throughout the rest of the week, the weather agency said.
A tornado watch has been issued for parts of southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, northern Mississippi and southwest Tennessee where a couple of intense tornadoes, very large hail and scattered damaging winds with gusts of up to 75 miles per hour are possible. The watch takes effect Wednesday afternoon throughout the evening.
Rainfall totals across Middle Tennessee from Wednesday night hrough Sunday average at two to three inches and a temperature drop of 50 degrees Fahrenheit is expected to be seen in the area from Saturday afternoon to Monday morning.
Areas in southeastern Alabama and Florida could also see strong thunderstorms Wednesday night with winds in excess of 40 miles per hour, according to a special weather statement. Those outdoors are urged to consider seeking shelter inside a building as gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around objects.
People under tornado watches are urged to “be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.”
The storms come weeks after a series of tornadoes earlier this month killed 92 people throughout Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Monday that teams are still “working diligently” to work to remove debris and repair the storms’ damage.