Severe storms are forecasted to barrel through the southern U.S. beginning on Tuesday afternoon. Between Texas and Georgia, close to 40 million people are expected to experience a combination of deadly winds, tornadoes, and hail, reports The New York Times. The hardest hit region is expected to be the Mississippi Valley, which includes northern and central Louisiana, most of Mississippi, as well as parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama. The storms were preemptively deemed Level 4 out of 5 in severity in the most susceptible region a day in advance, which is highly unusual.
What to expect
Experts predict the storms will begin to pick up between mid to late afternoon on Tuesday and could continue through evening hours. Tornadoes may also form overnight into Wednesday morning across the Mississippi Valley. While tornadoes are most likely in Mississippi and Louisiana, surrounding regions may also experience them, the Times continues.
In regions with lower severity, there are likely to be severe thunderstorms, including frequent lightning flashes and strong gusts of wind, per the Weather Prediction Center. Rain will also likely continue through Wednesday with the potential for flash flooding.
How to prepare
If you are located in a tornado region, make sure you have access to a tornado shelter. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has also told residents to document their homes and property in case of damage to be used for insurance purposes, CNN reports. It is also helpful to have an emergency kit with food, water, first aid materials, and important documents. Also, try to secure any furniture in your home that could fall over or cause injury.