Deadly tornadoes rip through Louisiana and Mississippi

Damaging hail and torrential downpours leave a swath of destruction in southern US states.

by
    Tornadoes tore through many southern states and were expected to affect the east coast on Wednesday [Reuters]
    Tornadoes tore through many southern states and were expected to affect the east coast on Wednesday [Reuters]

    At least three people have died in severe weather in the southern states of the United States, where tornadoes, damaging hail and flash floods left a swath of destruction.

    Tornadoes churned across many states, from Louisiana to Georgia, but the most destructive were in Louisiana and Mississippi.

    More than 30 people were injured in the storms. Two people died in the hamlet of Convent, Louisiana,
    after a tornado demolished more than 160 mobile homes.

    The third casualty died in a trailer park in Purvis, Mississippi.

    The storm left tens of thousands of people without power in Louisiana, and John Bel Edwards, the state governor, declared a state of emergency in seven parishes.

    The powerful storm developed when the jet stream dived across the region on Tuesday. A jet stream is a fast-flowing ribbon of air, blowing high above the Earth's surface, which can dictate the path of storms and can also encourage their development.

    Tuesday's jet stream was particularly intense and it is unusual for one this strong to travel so far south. This resulted in a particularly powerful storm, and encouraged moisture to be fed into the system from the Gulf of Mexico.

    As the system developed, the winds above the Earth's surface were much stronger than at ground level. This encourages the air to start to roll, and it is this rotation that encourages the formation of tornadoes.

    The storm system is now heading northeast across the eastern portion of North America. As it does so, its weather will become increasingly wintry. Up to 30cm of snow is expected in the northeastern US and eastern Canada on Wednesday.

    Further south, torrential rain and damaging hail will be a hazard, and there is a threat of more tornadoes. Virginia and North Carolina will be most at risk.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?