JACKSON, Ms. (AP) – Meteorologists are urging people in parts of the U.S. Midwest and South to be prepared for dangerous weather, including tornadoes, on Friday, saying conditions are similar to those of a week ago unleashed a devastating Twister which killed at least 21 people in Mississippi.
An outbreak of severe thunderstorms can bring hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes, which can be strong and travel long distances on the ground, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
Major population centers at greatest risk for storms beginning Friday afternoon include Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock and Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But people throughout eastern Iowa, western and northern Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas should also be prepared, said northern Illinois meteorology professor and tornado expert Victor Gensini.
“There will be many thunderstorms … tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail,” he said.
People in those areas should stock emergency supplies, prepare for power outages, avoid stranding in places at risk from falling trees or heavy hail and park vehicles in garages whenever possible, meteorologists said.
The bad weather could also extend to Chicago, where forecasters warned of a “relatively rare, significant severe weather threat” that includes high winds, tornadoes and large hail.
In Iowa City, the University of Iowa canceled Friday’s watch party for fans who planned to gather for the Women’s basketball final four game against South Carolina. Assistant Athletics Director Matt Henderson said in a statement the decision was made “due to the unpredictable timing of potential severe weather and the potential for storm impact.”
Last Friday night, a vicious tornado in Mississippi killed at least 21 peopleHe injured dozens and flattened whole blocks of houses carved a path of destruction for more than an hour. About 2,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
The toll was particularly high in western Mississippi’s Sharkey County, where 13 people were killed in a county of 3,700 people. Winds of up to 200 mph (322 km/h) rip through the rural farming town of Rolling ForkTurn houses into rubble, knock over cars and bring down the city’s water tower.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to visit Rolling Fork on Friday.
Gensini said Friday atmospheric setup resembles conditions experienced during the deadly Mississippi storm.
The dangerous forecast is the result of strong southerly winds carrying copious amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico north, where they will interact with the strengthening storm system.
In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem ordered state executive offices to close parts of the state Friday as freezing rain, snow and high winds were expected. Snowstorm or ice storm warnings have been issued in many counties.
The Weather Service is forecasting another series of violent storms next Tuesday in the same general area as last week. At least The first 10 days of April will be roughsaid Accuweather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham earlier this week.
Bill Bunting, head of the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center for forecasting operations, said people need to have a severe weather plan that includes multiple ways to get storm warning information.
“We have all seen the coverage of the heartbreaking situations in other parts of the country. We sincerely hope that people will heed Friday’s threat projections that have been released for the past few days,” Bunting said.
Baumann reported from Bellingham, Washington. AP writer Isabella O’Malley contributed from Philadelphia.
Source : news.yahoo.com