WEATHER: Strong storms, tornadoes possible on Thursday

Published 7:40 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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JACKSON (AP) — Large parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky will be at risk of powerful thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes as a storm system sweeps into the South, forecasters said Wednesday.

More than 20 million people are in a zone that’s most at risk of severe weather on Thursday, the national Storm Prediction Center said in its most recent weather outlook. The region includes Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Jackson, Mississippi; and Birmingham, Alabama.

Some of the storms could become “supercellular” and capable of producing damaging wind gusts and tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center said. Stronger heating of the atmosphere in some areas will lead to a greater tornado threat.

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Much of Oklahoma and north Texas will also be at risk of severe weather beginning late Wednesday and continuing into early Thursday.

Wintry weather is expected further north. The overall storm system has the potential to bring “a swath of disruptive snow and freezing rain to extend from northern Oklahoma to southern Michigan on Thursday,” the National Weather Service warned.