Two major storm systems threaten the US this week.
A massive, multi-peril storm moved east across the country on Tuesday, battering much of the central and eastern U.S. and threatening the South with powerful tornadoes and flooding, as well as parts of the Plains and upper Midwest with ice and snow.
And as California recovers from the weekend’s deadly floods, a second storm system is coming ashore, threatening the state with strong winds and more flooding, fueled by both the expected rains and the state’s already wet soil.
“Significant wind and rain effects EXPECTED tomorrow through Thursday. Now prepare for flooding, downed trees and power outages,” according to the National Weather Service in San Francisco warned.
Meanwhile, the eastward-moving storm system is pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico south, where above-average temperatures have set the stage for severe thunderstorms.
Several areas reported record temperatures on Tuesday evening. Mobile, Alabama, tied his daily high temperature for Jan. 3, with a high of 79 degrees Fahrenheit, a record set in 1989. And Pensacola, Florida, broke its daily high Record for January 3 at 81 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the record of 79 degrees set three years ago.
Almost 30 million people are at risk from some type of severe weather in the South, with the highest risk near the Gulf Coast. Southern Mississippi and Alabama were under a Level 3 out of 5 “elevated” risk for severe weather. Places like Montgomery, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa could all see strong storms. A “mild” Level 2 out of 5 severe weather risk affected New Orleans, Atlanta, Birmingham and Baton Rouge.
The weather service on Tuesday evening said It monitored two areas of thunderstorms that threatened the New Orleans area with wind and hail.
Tornado watches blanketed much of southern Alabama and Georgia Tuesday night, with additional storms developing in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Multiple waves of severe weather are possible in this region during the day, the Storm Prediction Center warned, “with the risk expected to persist well into the night in much of the area.”
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In the most extreme thunderstorms, strong tornadoes, large hail and wind gusts of over 110 km/h are possible.
“Heavy convection with all three modes (tornados, hail and noxious winds) is likely,” the National Weather Service’s Mobile office warned.