Over 100 Million in South Under Tornado and Severe Weather Threat

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A dangerous severe weather threat will bring a likely outbreak of tornadoes across a vast area of the South on Wednesday putting over 100 million Americans at risk, while blizzard conditions prompt warnings in the West.

A dangerous tornado outbreak expected on Wednesday

As is common for March, a collision of cold winter air will meet warm spring conditions creating the components for extremely volatile weather. These conditions will continue throughout the week.

A dangerous tornado outbreak is anticipated for Wednesday encompassing a vast area in the southern corridor of the United States.

Over 100 million residents in at least 14 states could see severe weather and tornadoes including those living in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

As the storm continues to move east on Thursday, the threat will include residents of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.

Severe weather threat-level warnings for Wednesday

The severe weather threats in the South for Wednesday also include large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding.

These are the areas at highest risk:

Threat level 5-high: northeastern Louisiana; southeastern Arkansas; central Mississippi; west-central Alabama.

Threat level 4-moderate: The eastern halves of Arkansas and Louisiana; Mississippi; northern, central and western Alabama; southwestern Tennessee.

Threat level 3-enhanced: southern Missouri; Arkansas; Louisiana; western Tennessee; Alabama; the western edge of Georgia.

Blizzard warnings and winter storms on Wednesday

Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) in parts of the West including southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, northeastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle and the high plains of the Texas Panhandle.

In addition, a wind advisory has been issued for Eastern New Mexico; northern, central and portions of eastern Texas; the western half of Oklahoma, as well as central and southern Kansas. Additionally in Texas, a high wind warning for the high plains and red flag warnings for the southern portion of the state.

National Weather Service alerts for Wednesday

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued the following alerts for Wednesday:

Flash flood watch: southwestern Kansas, central and southern Missouri, southern Illinois, extreme western Kentucky and along the Mississippi River; southeastern Mississippi; southwestern Alabama.

Tornado watch: eastern and southeastern Arkansas; western Tennessee; northern Mississippi.

Severe thunderstorm warning: northwestern Mississippi.

Severe thunderstorm watch: eastern Texas; eastern Oklahoma; southwestern Missouri; southwestern Arkansas; northwestern Louisiana.

US weather forecast: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

West: San Francisco 54, mostly cloudy; Los Angeles 67, partly cloudy; Reno 58, mostly cloudy; Las Vegas 67, mostly sunny; Salt Lake City 59, cloudy; Denver 40, partly cloudy.

Northwest & Northern Rockies: Seattle 58, partly cloudy; Medford 61, partly cloudy; Boise 59, mostly sunny; Cut Bank 55, mostly sunny; Billings 54, sunny; Minot 48, partly cloudy; Rapid City 41, snow.

Southwest: Phoenix 73, mostly sunny; Albuquerque 61, partly cloudy; El Paso 69, sunny; San Antonio 80, windy; Brownsville 89, thunderstorms.

Central & Upper Midwest: Lubbock 56, windy; Dallas 71, windy; Oklahoma City 59, rain; Kansas City 47, rain; Minneapolis 44, partly cloudy.

Ohio Valley: Chicago 42, rain; St. Louis 59, rain; Detroit 56, partly cloudy; Cincinnati 68, rain.

South: Houston 76, thunderstorms; New Orleans 81, thunderstorm; Memphis 73, thunderstorms; Atlanta 60, rain; Charlotte 65, cloudy; Jacksonville 88, partly cloudy; Tampa 86, sunny; Miami 81, mostly sunny.

East: Norfolk 54, cloudy; Washington, D.C. 58, mostly cloudy; Buffalo 52, partly cloudy; New York City 51, cloudy; Boston 51, partly cloudy; Caribou 42, partly cloudy.