Tornado watches in South; 3 deaths reported: Friday weather forecast


States across the Southeast and into the Midwest were facing strong winds that led to dangerous conditions on Friday, with gusts blowing down trees and causing power outages, leaving three people dead.

Some areas were also under tornado watches, including most of the Atlanta metro area. 

Two people were killed Friday due to the storms in the South: One each in Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky, officials said.

More than 352,000 Tennessee customers and more than 108,000 in Alabama were without electricity Friday evening, according to 

More than 15 million people were under tornado watches as of  4:30 pm EST, according to the National Weather Service.  A total of 22 million people live where high wind warnings were in effect.

Meanwhile, a storm was also expected to bring snow to a 1,300-mile stretch of the United States from the Midwest to New England on Friday and into Saturday, potentially disrupting major travel hubs, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.   

Much of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest were also under winter weather advisories and warnings Friday morning.

Here’s what you need to know:  

What is thundersnow and how does it form? Explaining how a thunderstorm can produce snow

What is lake effect snow?: Here’s how it happens and how much snow it can bring with it.

The NWS issued tornado watches that were in effect Friday for parts of the following six states:

  • Tennessee
  • Georgia 
  • Virginia
  • Alabama
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

Parts of Arkansas and Louisiana previously saw tornado watches earlier Friday morning. NWS Shreveport in Louisiana posted video of a tornado that formed in the city Thursday around 5:40 p.m. CT.

High wind warnings were in effect Friday in: 

Winds were expected to gust up to 60 mph, and the National Weather Service warned that winds will blow down trees and power lines, with power outages expected throughout the region.

The weather service advised that people charge their phones and other devices on Thursday night “to be able to reliably receive additional warnings.”  

Winter storm conditions extended from the Midwest to New England on Friday, with some areas expected to see a foot of snow.  

A winter storm watch is in effect on Friday in northern Illinois, with rain “changing to heavy wet snow,” according to the National Weather Service in Chicago.

Winds could gust up to 35 mph in the area.  

A winter storm warning is in effect from Friday evening into Saturday afternoon in parts of Vermont and New York. Some areas could see up to 12 inches of snow, with the heaviest snowfall expected early on Saturday morning.  

Further south, a winter weather advisory is in effect beginning at 7 a.m. Friday in parts of western Maryland, northwest Virginia and eastern West Virginia. Residents of the area can expect a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, before changing to rain by Friday evening. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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