The death toll continues to grow in the wake of a severe weather outbreak that struck the southeastern United States yesterday. The early-season tornado outbreak was the result of the perfect combination of severe weather ingredients, fueled in part by the Atmospheric River event that slammed into California just days ago.
According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, there were numerous severe weather reports collected due to yesterday’s outbreak. In their latest preliminary tally, there were 48 tornado reports, 272 reports of damaging winds, and 25 reports of large, damaging hail.
The death toll from the severe weather outbreak is up to at least 9, with search and recovery efforts continuing today.
The most deaths came from central Alabama’s Autauga County, where a powerful tornado estimated to be a EF-3 tore through there and the city of Selma in neighboring Dallas County. National Weather Service meteorologists are conducting a survey today to understand if a single tornado went through both towns or if two separate tornadoes touched-down. Due to the extent of damage, it may take several days for the storm surveys to be complete.
Other tornadoes struck in Kentucky, Illinois, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
More severe weather is possible over portions of northern and central California as more storms move inland from the Pacific today and tomorrow. However, there is no threat of severe weather in the southeast again for at least the next 3 days, giving crews a chance to complete their work while residents and businesses clean up the mess created by yesterday’s severe weather event.