As many as 48 people were killed, and dozens more injured, after devastating tornadoes swept through parts of the South, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to media reports.
Large hail fell. A mall in Memphis collapsed. A women's dormatory in Jackson was destroyed. And voters were kept from the polls during Super Tuesday balloting.
This is the second time this winter that deadly tornadoes have struck the U.S. Tornadoes are not typical of winter. But unusually warm weather has spawned tornadoes at unexpected times. At least one scientific study has predicted more tornadoes and strong thunderstorms as a result of global warming, which will increase the amount of energy and moisture held by the atmosphere, and the intensity with which that fury is unleashed.
Accuweather.com called the storms an "historic outbreak" because they were the first significant tornadoes to hit this region in a decade.
AccuWeather.com reports the storm system that yesterday sparked the deadly outbreak of tornadoes across the Deep South will move to the East Coast today, fueled in part by a southerly flow of record-breaking warmth. While temperature records will fall along the coast, snow will fall across upstate New York and northern New England.
The storm late on Tuesday sparked dozens of tornadoes that killed at least 31 people across Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. The strongest storms today could produce heavy rain, hail, and damaging winds; however, the potential of isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.
A second storm crossing the Northeast today will bring snow, ice and flooding rain. Most areas from western New York to New England will receive as much as 6 inches of snow, while a band of up to 10 inches will fall from upstate New York across central New England.
Winter storm watches and warnings are in effect, while flood-related watches and warnings are in effect across much of western Pennsylvania and New York. Heavy rain along the southern edge of the storm will fall on over-saturated soil, increasing the threat of flooding across the Northeast interior.
The warm flow along the East Coast today will result in record or near-record highs in the major cities. Philadelphia and New York City could reach 60 degrees today before colder air arrives behind the storm systems.
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