Throughout April 18th and April 20th, the southern states were slammed with a severe weather outbreak. A severe weather outbreak is classified as a weather system or combination of weather systems that produces multiple severe thunderstorms in a region over a continuous span of time.
Starting on Thursday afternoon, parts of Mississippi and Louisiana were under flash flood, severe thunderstorm, and tornado warnings as fierce thunderstorms rolled through the region. After tornadoes left a trail of destruction in Mississippi on Thursday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency on Friday afternoon. There was a report of one tornado hitting just outside of Jackson, Mississippi, in Clinton which left cars scattered around a Walmart parking lot. As the storms moved east, winds and warnings increased. Wind gusts reached 81 mph in Wears Valley, Tennessee and another tornado touched down in Franklin County, Virginia, which was classified as an EF-3. More tornados touched down in multiple other places, but needed to be confirmed first.
A tornado has to be confirmed by an official from the National Weather Service through surveying because there is currently not a definite method for a meteorologist to tell if a tornado has touched ground. Officials take aerial photos to see if they can find a definitive path of the tornado They also check the ground to see which direction debris fell.
Storms continued into Friday night, leaving over 215,000 people without power. With strong winds associated with these powerful storms, travel delays were reported in airports along the east coast, with nearly 4,000 delays and over 1,000 cancellations according to flightaware.com. Make sure to listen to the National Weather Service for warnings and watches that are issued in times like these to stay safe.
To learn more about this and other severe weather topics around the globe, be sure to click www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/severe-weather-topics!
(Credit: NWS, and Weather.com)
©2019 Weather Forecaster Allison Finch