South braces for stormy day expected to bring tornado risk

Malcolm Fuller
April 8, 2017

Cooler air has settled into many parts of the country affected by this week's severe storms and the active weather pattern is beginning to dwindle.

"It got pretty warm (Wednesday), and it was relatively humid, but the main system didn't get into the area until early (Wednesday) evening", Lamb said.

No serious injuries were reported. "We just had pea-sized hail, and two or three cars were damaged", said Evan Bohannon, who handles online sales for the dealership. Tornado Watch in effect for until 2 a.m. for southern counties.

The National Weather Service predicts widespread thunderstorms across much of Alabama and Georgia and into the Florida Panhandle and southwestern SC.

The storms produced damaging wind gusts through much of the area with many trees knocked down.

From Kentucky, Ian Corbin posted a funnel cloud swirling Wednesday night in Owingsville, with tornado sirens blaring in the background. It tallied numerous reports of hail and high winds and listed eight possible tornadoes - seven in Georgia and one in SC.

In Goodman, in southwest Missouri, an EF-2 tornado with wind speeds of up to 120 miles per hour (193 kph) hit Tuesday night, damaging a fire station, elementary school and several other buildings, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

The storm caused one minor injury, Curry said.

Hundreds of travelers were stranded at Atlanta's airport overnight by the system.

Patrons leave the course at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia as inclement weather canceled the traditional Par-3 Contest kicking off The Masters golf tournament. Augusta National was forced to close Monday because of heavy rains.

The forecast is more promising through the rest of the week, though high winds Thursday and Friday could make playing conditions challenging.

A forecaster says a large tornado has touched down in southwest Georgia.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Orrock said investigators were dispatched to the Virginia city of Chesapeake and the towns of Kilmarnock and Irvington, where he said there was a good possibility of a "weak touchdown". It left downed power lines and trees on roads, said Sandra James, a county sheriff's office dispatcher.

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A moderate risk means widespread severe weather is likely - including a few strong tornadoes.

The National Weather Service is calling for potent thunderstorms, high winds, hail and possible tornadoes on Wednesday.

Stronger storms to our south Wednesday afternoon may limit the severity of the afternoon cells in the Carolinas.

Officials issued tornado watches for a broad area stretching from the Florida Panhandle up into Indiana.

Wednesday is the final day competitors can work on their games before the tournament starts Thursday. Patrons were evacuated because of the storm. The Federal Aviation Administration-issued order was later lifted, but the airport said delays continued.

The outbreak of severe weather was the second to hit the South in less than a week.

Copeland says he's still working up courage to go outside and look at his pickup truck, which he fears was damaged by ice balls right after he made a $550 payment on it.

A downed tree after a tornado and more severe weather walloped Georgia.

A pontoon boat sits in the front yard of a home in the Screamer community of Henry County, Ala., after a suspected tornado touched down in the county Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

Elsewhere, another line of severe storms rolled through the Carolinas early Thursday, a day after severe weather that produced hail and heavy rains in some places.

The greatest threat from these storms will be very large hail and damaging winds. A lull in the activity is likely from 11:00 PM through 3:00 AM.

There has also been damage to weather forecasting infrastructure.

WATCH WMBF News Live for the latest severe weather updates and team coverage from around our area - mobile users, watch live here.

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