Alabama Braces for Severe Storms with Tornado Risk. Millions in the Southeast face turbulent weather

Alabama Braces for Severe Storms with Tornado Risk: More than 20 million people from eastern Texas to the Southeast are facing a threat of severe storms beginning Monday afternoon, with some areas bracing for the possibility of tornadoes or hail, according to forecasters.

“Damaging winds and several tornadoes, a few of which may be strong, will be the primary hazards,” the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said early Monday. Damaging winds and large hail are also possible, the center noted.

The storm system is headed into the South after blowing through the Rockies over the weekend, leaving heavy mountain snowfall piled nearly a foot high in several parts of Utah, Nevada and Colorado, preliminary snow reports show.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to blow across eastern Texas Monday afternoon before marching across the lower Mississippi Valley and toward Alabama through the night, the storm center said.

An enhanced risk level for severe storms, or a level 3 of 5, has been issued for parts of northern Louisiana and central Mississippi, including Jackson, Mississippi, and Alexandria, Louisiana, the center said.

Less severe threat levels – slight and marginal risk – have been issued from Texas to Alabama and Arkansas, including Houston and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The storms may bring a brief reprieve to drought-stricken Louisiana and Mississippi, which could see excessive rainfall of up to 2 inches on Monday, and as many as 3 inches in some areas, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

Louisiana is suffering through its worst drought on record – one that’s fed unprecedented wildfires and contributed to the potentially catastrophic intrusion of saltwater into the Mississippi River. Exceptional drought – the US Drought Monitor’s most extreme category – now covers nearly three-quarters of the state, according to data released last week. In neighboring Mississippi, exceptional drought has spread over more than half of the state.

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