Millions of people across the Deep South reside in areas that could see extreme weather on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center issued a storm threat of "moderate" or level 4 out of 5 on the severity scale -- for parts of northeast Louisiana, much of Mississippi, and northwest Alabama. These areas could see the most severe storms that could produce "strong tornadoes, very large hail, and severe wind gusts," the weather agency warned.
"Multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms -- some capable of long-tracked tornadoes with EF3+ damage potential — will be possible this afternoon into tonight over parts of the lower Mississippi Valley region and Mid-South," National Weather Service wrote in the most recent weather update.
Axios quoted NWS stating at least 40 million people in the South are at risk today of severe storms. About five million people live in the "enhanced" or "moderate" area.
Bill Parker, the meteorologist in charge at the NWS office in Jackson, Mississippi, told NYTimes not to look at the big red circle on the map but understand the entire state of Mississippi is "pretty much under threat for severe weather today."
Parker said his top concern is "a large population of mobile homes in our state ... and when it comes to tornadoes, even weak tornadoes can do significant damage."