BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Severe storms including tornadoes are possible from eastern Texas across the Deep South later this week, putting millions of people at risk, forecasters said Wednesday.
More than 9 million people live in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana where there is an enhanced risk of severe weather on Friday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Winds of up to 70 mph (113 kph) will be possible in parts of Alabama on Saturday, the National Weather Service’s Birmingham office warned.
Similar conditions are expected in Louisiana. “All modes of severe weather appear to be in play with this system, including the threat of tornadoes in addition to large hail and damaging winds,” forecasters at the weather service’s Shreveport, Louisiana, office said in a briefing on the incoming storm system.
The threat moves eastward Saturday, with the potential bull’s-eye covering millions of people across much of Mississippi and Alabama, plus parts of eastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Storms could reach as far north as the Ohio Valley.
Heavy rains are possible in addition to damaging winds, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Many streams already are at or near flood levels because of earlier storms.