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Major winter storm in the US causes reports of tornadoes in several southern states and threatens more severe weather conditions


A major winter storm brought snow and freezing rain to the north of the country and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to the warmer south. And it continues to threaten more severe weather as it moves into the eastern US.

The water subsides in California and leaves a trail of destruction 1:11

(CNN) --

A major winter storm across the United States that brought snow and freezing rain to its colder northern end and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to its warmer southern tip threatens more severe weather as it moves east.

More than 25 million people are under some form of severe weather threat in the southern United States, with the risk of severe storms stretching from northwestern Florida to far southeastern Alabama and parts of Georgia, and throughout from the east coast to southeastern Virginia.

As downpours and storms move into Georgia and northern Florida, damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes are possible.

Cities like Tallahassee, Albany, Charlotte, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Raleigh, and Norfolk could all see winds and tornadoes.

Heavy rains could also cause flash flooding in parts of Mississippi.

The multi-hazard storm, which headed for the central and southern United States after battering California with deadly flooding, has already sparked at least 120 storm reports in the past two days and left a trail of destruction as it moved. throughout the country, heading to the south and southeast of the country.


There have been 11 tornado reports, 92 wind reports, and 17 hail reports.

Tornado reports included six in Illinois on Tuesday and category EF-1 tornadoes in Jessieville, Arkansas, on Monday.

Other reports of tornadoes came from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi.

A tornado watch is in effect for much of western and southern Alabama until 4 a.m. CST and for parts of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama until noon local time.

The storm also brought some heavy rain, with much of the south experiencing 48-hour rainfall totals of between 50 and 100 millimeters.

Some areas of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley received up to 150mm of rain, and isolated areas of eastern Arkansas received up to 250mm.

In Tennessee, Memphis and Jackson had record rainfall on Tuesday.

Memphis received 97mm, surpassing its previous daily record of 54cm set in 1949. Jackson received 60mm on Tuesday, surpassing a previous daily record of 43mm set in 1951.

  • A powerful storm moves toward the central US after hitting California with dangerous flooding, forcing rescues and evacuations

An extremely warm and humid air mass over the east coast and southeast helped fuel the outbreak of severe weather.

More than 35 daily high temperature records were broken in the eastern United States on Tuesday, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees Celsius in Baton Rouge, 26 degrees Celsius in Wilmington and 20 degrees Celsius in Washington.

Meanwhile, more than 5 million people are under winter weather alerts across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, where snow and ice accumulations are expected to affect travel, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy snow is expected in parts of the upper Midwest through Wednesday, while freezing rain and a wintry mix will spread into northern New England by Thursday, the Weather Service says.

The storm is expected to begin to gradually dissipate on Thursday.

Meanwhile, another intense storm system is heading toward the west coast.

Storms leave a trail of destruction and desolation in some states

A home damaged by high winds is seen in Arkansas on January 2, 2023. (Credit: Garland County Sheriff's Office)

Along with reports of tornadoes and high winds came reports of damage.

One of the reported tornadoes was in Jonesboro, Louisiana, where large trees were downed.

Damage was also reported in Jessieville, Arkansas, where several school buildings were damaged when downed trees and power lines, along with several homes in the area, according to the Garland County Sheriff's Office.

“School was currently in session at the time, however all students have been accounted for and there are no reports of injuries,” the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Images also showed downed trees and damage to homes in other parts of Garland County.

Storm damage was also seen Tuesday in Marion, Alabama, where a home appeared to have been displaced from its foundation, CNN affiliate WBRC reported.

“The best thing is that my husband and I are alive.

Material things can be replaced but our lives can't and we just thank God we're here," homeowner Sylvia Hester told the station, standing with her husband outside their two-decade-old home. that was affected.

  • At least 15 US states under threat of tornadoes, flooding and snowfall from winter storm

A damaged home is seen in this image in Perry County on January 3, 2023. (Credit: WBRC)

Reports of damage were also coming in from northern Louisiana, where several high-line transmission towers were damaged in the Haile Community in Marion.

One of the towers was brought down and several others were damaged, according to the National Weather Service in Shreveport.

In Jackson Parish, Louisiana, residents were told to stay off the roads Monday as severe weather downed trees and power lines and covered roads with water.

In addition to tornadoes, some communities saw hail and high winds.

There were reports of hail Monday in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

And then in Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, and Alabama the next day.

Another storm heads for the west coast

This photo was posted on January 1, 2023 by Caltrans District 3.

It shows the Sierra Freeway is open again but chain checks remain in place as crews clean up in South Lake Tahoe, California (Credit: Caltrans/AP District 3)

The storm currently over the central and eastern US is one of two major storm systems expected to affect the nation in the coming days.

The second is forecast to enter the West Coast this Wednesday, sending a strong atmospheric river into California once again.

“A plethora of hazards are forecast, with torrential rains and high winds expected to be the most widespread impact.

Widespread rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are anticipated, with locally higher amounts in the coastal ranges and in Northern California,” says the National Weather Service.

While those expected rainfall amounts would normally not have a major impact, the state recently received a lot of rain that left soils saturated and susceptible to flooding and mudslides, the Weather Service said.

Northern California in particular was inundated with heavy snowfall and deadly flooding over the weekend, prompting evacuation orders and water rescues.

It also raised questions about how much precipitation would affect California's drought conditions.

The first snow study of the season in the Sierra Nevada mountains released Tuesday shows that current snowpack is well above average for this time of year, according to a statement from the California Department of Water Resources.

Sierra snowpack makes up on average about 30% of California's water needs, according to the department.

The depth of snow measured Tuesday at Phillips Station, just south of Lake Tahoe, was 1.4 meters.

Statewide, snowpack is 174% above average for this date, the agency said.

However, experts warn that despite the deluge and rainfall expected over the next week, the drought is not over yet.

“The significant snowpack in the Sierra is good news, but unfortunately these same storms are causing flooding in parts of California,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a news release.

“This is a prime example of the threat of extreme flooding during a prolonged drought, as California experiences more swings between wet and dry periods brought on by our changing climate.”

-- CNN's Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

winter storm

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-01-04

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