Particularly dangerous situation tornado watch issued, tornado outbreak underway in the South

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BY WEATHER.COM

The threat of dangerous severe storms capable of producing tornadoes will continue to increase through Tuesday afternoon and evening in the Gulf Coast states. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a "Particularly Dangerous Situation" tornado watch for portions of the Gulf Coast.

A Particularly Dangerous Situation tornado watch is in effect for portions of southeaster Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southwestern Alabama and the far western Florida panhandle until 10 p.m. CST. The watch includes New Orleans, Hattiesburg, Biloxi, Mobile and Pensacola.


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Tornado in the South, Louisana, Florida
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Particularly dangerous situation tornado watch issued, tornado outbreak underway in the South
Director of Emergency Operations for St. James Parish Blaise Gravois talks on the phone at Sugar Hill RV Park following a storm in Convent, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park and ripping off roofs from buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Destroyed trailers and vehicles are all that remain of the Sugar Hill RV Park after a suspected tornado hit the park in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin says authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
This photo released by Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of Louisiana State Police, shows an aerial view shows destruction in Convent, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, after a suspected tornado moved through the area Tuesday night. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers and ripping off roofs from buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (Col. Mike Edmonson/Louisiana State Police via AP)
Greg Bellanger nails a tarp in place with help from co-workers Gilbert Ortiz, above, and Darren Miller, at right, after a tornado ripped through the area the day before in LaPlace, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park, ripping off roofs from buildings and killing several people in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Burt Miller hammers a piece of particle board over broken windows at the home of his parents after a tornado ripped through the area the day before in LaPlace, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
A home in LaPlace, La., stands severely damaged by tornadoes and severe weather that swept through the area the day before, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park, ripping off roofs from buildings and killing at least three people in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said.(AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Alvin Guillard, of Laplace, La., cuts a tree that has fallen on his home, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 in LaPlace, La. Tornadoes ripped through the RV park in Louisiana and significantly damaged nearly 100 homes and apartments in Florida as a deadly storm system rolled across the South, and forecasters warned that more twisters were possible Wednesday along the East Coast. (AP photo/Rebecca Santana)
Wreckage of the Sugar Hill RV Park is scattered following a storm in Convent, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park, ripping off roofs from buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Wreckage of the Sugar Hill RV Park is scattered following a storm in Convent, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park and ripping off roofs from buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Wreckage of the Sugar Hill RV Park is scattered in Convent, La., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, mangling trailers at an RV park, ripping off roofs from buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards talks to the media after he inspected the remains of trailers and vehicles after a suspected tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Edwards described the scene as a "jumbled mess." "We all need to be prayerful and mindful and take those tornado warnings when we see them very seriously," Edwards said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Destroyed trailers and vehicles are all that remain of the Sugar Hill RV Park after a suspected tornado hit in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Authorities were still looking for people possibly trapped under the debris, St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Destroyed trailers and vehicles are all that remain of the Sugar Hill RV Park after a suspected tornado hit in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Tornadoes and severe weather ripped through southern Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Destroyed trailers and vehicles are all that remain of the Sugar Hill RV Park after a suspected tornado hit in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin says authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
First responders search the remains of trailers and vehicles after a suspected tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin says authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
A helicopter and first responders search the remains of trailers and vehicles after a suspected tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin says authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
First responders search the remains of trailers and vehicles after a suspected tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent, La., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin says authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Update: Mutual Aid From Surrounding Counties Responding To Pensacola Area After Devastating Tornado Makes Impact. https://t.co/GT4yoaHGAe
@OBWeather @NWSMobile here's a screen grab from that Pensacola tornado video. Looks like the real deal. https://t.co/xYsqYEG8cy
Breaking: First Responders Report "Massive Damage" And Impassable Roads After Tornado Hits Pensacola, Florida. https://t.co/fDCuKz9JWE
Friend's Laplace neighborhood suffered tornado damage! https://t.co/2tMWMzrXfv
Gut-wrenching picture of the leveled mobile home park in Convent after a #tornado via @FOX8NOLA. #LAwx https://t.co/QIuya7kr8C
well dam. https://t.co/MNdRuzevwL
more pictures of damage in Paincourtville, la https://t.co/qM4B7aCvEW
Water tower down in Assumption parish after a reported tornado was on the ground @WAFB @SteveWAFB https://t.co/GBVCqDl1YB
Tornado damage in Laplace's river land heights. Dozens of homes destroyed. Fences tossed into trees @FOX8NOLA https://t.co/69wdrndln9
Convent , La sending prayers from Port Vincent and the Rogers #tornado https://t.co/n73g6GJYA1
This is somethin! Tornado/Waterspout over Lake Pontchartrain https://t.co/WEqcCgS948
Wall cloud and likely tornado SW of poplarville https://t.co/Eupnqoz8Hc
Potential #tornado spotted in Louisiana – see the raw video. #LAwx https://t.co/XBvtM2XMJX
Tornado just as it passed through Livingston, LA. @NWSNewOrleans #tornado #lawx https://t.co/VK48TEAMNy
@SteveWAFB https://t.co/DB7BhoHlZN Video of the tornado passing over i10 Baton Rouge/ Prairieville
#breaking witnesses say they saw a tornado in Ascension parish. This is the new Gold's Gym on Airline Hwy. @WBRZ https://t.co/tjsbSDy0nb
#tornado in Prairieville at Popeye's https://t.co/9CJGjkN7L8
WOW! 3 waterspouts earlier this afternoon off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: WWL-TV. #Tornado #LAwx https://t.co/EdB7YzIwtx
That tornado tore Prairieville up 😭😳 https://t.co/gRq4JdUplZ
#Laplace tornado. Winn Dixie parking lot. #Louisiana https://t.co/3jKOAUuCJP
Photo from 70 & 1: 2 homes destroyed, 2 businesses severely damaged, water tower down #tornado https://t.co/ToJFDnh6qc
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A tornado watch has been posted for much of central Mississippi, including Jackson and Meridian, until 10 p.m. CST.

A tornado watch remains in effect for portions of south-central Louisiana until 5 p.m. CST.

As of 2:30 p.m. CST, there have been at least seven reports of tornadoes in southeast Louisiana, according to SPC. Damage has also been reported, which you can find details on at the link below.




The TOR:CON (Tornado Conditions Index) for Tuesday and Tuesday night has been raised to 8 out of 10 for parts of eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the western Florida panhandle, according to Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel. This means there is a 80 percent chance of a tornado within 50 miles of any location in the specified areas. TOR:CON values as high as 6 out of 10 are posted for Wednesday in eastern and central North Carolina and eastern Virginia.

In addition, SPC has issued a moderate risk for parts of the Gulf Coast Tuesday and says that a couple of strong tornadoes (EF2 or higher rating) are possible. A moderate risk is the second highest of five categories on SPC's severe thunderstorm forecasts.

The threat of tornadoes will continue well after dark Tuesday evening and overnight. Severe storms and tornadoes will then target parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states on Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: The Danger of Nighttime Tornadoes

If you live in or are traveling through the South Tuesday, Tuesday night or Wednesday, be prepared for the possibility of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes. Be sure you have a way to get the latest watch and warning information.

Below is a breakdown of our latest severe weather outlook.

SEE ALSO: Interactive Storm Reports Map

Severe Weather Forecast

Tuesday Afternoon

Threat Areas: Outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes begins from parts of southeastern Louisiana to central/southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama.
Main Threats: Tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail are all possible hazards. Heavy rain could lead to some flash flooding. A couple of strong tornadoes are possible.
Cities: Hattiesburg | Jackson, Mississippi | New Orleans




Tuesday Night

Threat Areas: Severe weather outbreak will continue during the evening and overnight hours from southeastern Louisiana and much of Mississippi into Alabama, south-central Tennessee, Georgia and the Florida panhandle.
Main Threats: Tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail are all possible hazards. Heavy rain could lead to some flash flooding.
Cities: Columbus, Georgia | Mobile, Alabama | Montgomery, Alabama | Pensacola, Florida

Wednesday

Threat Areas: A line of severe thunderstorms will continue surging east ahead of the advancing cold front across the Deep South from parts of Florida and Georgia to the Carolinas, eastern Virginia and portions of the mid-Atlantic.
Main Threats: Damaging thunderstorm winds would be the biggest threat, however, tornadoes are also a possibility, if instability is high enough, both within the squall line and in any individual thunderstorms ahead of the line.
Cities: Jacksonville, Florida | Raleigh, North Carolina | Richmond, Virginia | Savannah, Georgia




In addition to the chance for severe thunderstorms, heavy rain is expected from eastern Texas into the Ohio Valley through Wednesday and some flooding is possible as well. Widespread rainfall up to two inches may also spread up the East coast into the Northeast, with locally higher amounts possible.

The National Weather Service has issued flood watches from central Alabama to northern Georgia and western Virginia.

The 2016 Severe Season So Far

Severe thunderstorm activity, including tornadoes, has been off to a quicker start in 2016 than what we had seen over the prior two years.

The month of February has already witnessed two tornado outbreaks across the Gulf Coast states, bringing the preliminary tornado count for the year to at least 74. This is actually near or slightly below the 2005-15 average about just over 80 tornadoes through mid-February.



Florida has seen more than its fair share of tornadoes thus far in 2016. This includes a relatively rare EF3 tornado that ripped through the Florida panhandle on Feb. 15. That was the first EF3 or stronger tornado to hit the area since April 19, 1988, according to the Severe Weather Institute at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

There have also been multiple other damaging tornadoes to the south and east across the Florida peninsula since January.

The ongoing El Niño may be an factor in the onslaught of severe weather across the Sunshine State. The National Weather Service has said that El Niño creates favorable conditions for winter tornadoes in Florida.

SEE ALSO: El Niño Means More Florida Tornadoes?

El Niño has been gradually weakening, but it is difficult to speculate how this may influence the spring severe weather season with much certainty.

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