5,000,000 People Under Tornado Watch Across Five States


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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More than five million people across five states are under a tornado watch Friday as other extreme weather strikes.

A tornado watch for parts of Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee will remain in place until at least 1:00 p.m. CST on Friday, according to the National Weather Service’s tornado experts. NWS forecast multiple strong tornadoes, as well as large, isolated hail and wind gusts up to 80 mph.

The NWS extended the tornado watch several times throughout Thursday night, most recently moving the expiration time from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., suggesting that they could extend again as the day goes on. NWS is already set to investigate tornado damage in at least six locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

At least one tornado hit Shreveport, Louisiana, with video shared on Twitter showing it ripping through a neighborhood as lightning struck within the system. (RELATED: One National Park Hikes Price Tag To Cover Costs. Why Aren’t Our Taxes Protecting Our Land?)

The rest of the U.S. is dealing with its own extreme weather conditions. In California, Yosemite National Park was closed indefinitely due to record-breaking snowfall. A significant winter storm is also set to strike in the Great Lakes region all the way through New England on Friday into Saturday, with heavy snow and travel interruptions anticipated.