At least eight people were injured as a round of severe storms, including a few tornadoes, swept through the Mississippi Valley and South Wednesday and Wednesday night.
According to preliminary reports compiled by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), at least four tornadoes touched down across Arkansas and Mississippi.
A potent cold front moving across the Lower Mississippi Valley acted as the ignition for the thunderstorms. Enough humid air was in place to support the growth of severe thunderstorms capable of spawning tornadoes. Twisting winds in the atmosphere aided the rotation in thunderstorms, further aiding tornado development.
Strong winds, wind damage or hail was reported across a half dozen states in total, from Illinois to Mississippi.
One particularly damaging tornado tracked across Sharkey County, Miss., shortly before 11:00 p.m. local time, destroying numerous mobile homes and injuring five near the town of Louise, which sustained "heavy" damage according to local law enforcement.
The same tornadic thunderstorm narrowly missed nearby Yazoo City, which was devastated by a pair of tornadoes in 2010.
The towns of Clarendon and West Jericho, Ark., and Shelby, Miss., were also impacted by tornadoes Wednesday evening, according to various reports.
Severe storm reports from Wed., Oct. 17. Strong winds and wind damage incidents are indicated in blue, while tornadoes are plotted in red and hail in green. (SPC)
It is possible that more tornadoes will be confirmed to have touched down across the region as other incidents of wind damage are assessed by the National Weather Service over the next couple of days.
One such incident occurred in Scott County, Miss., where a person was injured when a tree fell onto their mobile home.
Strong thunderstorm winds heavily damaged about a dozen buildings in Bland, Mo., earlier in the day, including the town's post office, where two people sustained minor injuries.
As of 4:30 a.m. EST Thursday, there were nearly 100 reports of severe weather and damage from the severe weather outbreak. Eighty of the reports alone were wind damage, ranging from downed trees and power lines to partially collapsed structures.
While not as prolific, a few storms produced one-inch diameter hail stones in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
A storm will bring snow and ice that will lead to slippery travel along a 1,500-mile swath from northern Arkansas and Georgia to Maine early next week.
The coldest air of the winter will plunge southward across much of the eastern United States and will feature single-digit and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast during Valentine's Day weekend.
A blast of arctic air will be accompanied by flurries and even a localized wall of snow in some communities in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest at the start of the Valentine's Day weekend.
Heavy rain will raise the risk of flooding across more than a dozen states in the Southeast on Presidents Day to the East Coast on Tuesday.
Umbrellas will be needed on Valentine's Day as scattered showers overspread Germany.
As warming ocean waters continue to threaten coral reefs worldwide, researchers at the University of Hawaii have developed a plan that could reverse the rapid decline of these ecosystems.
San Francisco, CA (2001)
High only 44 degrees, record low maximum for date.
Savannah, GA (1899)
(12th-13th) 2 in. snowfall, one of 3 snowstorms in past 200 years that required a ruler measurement.
Great Arctic Outbreak (1899)
Great Arctic Outbreak Continues: Dallas-Fort Worth, TX -8 deg. F., all time low. Amarillo, TX - 16 deg. F., all time low. Tulia, TX -23 deg. F., tied for all time Texas low. Camp Clarke, NE -47 deg. F., state record low temp. Little Rock, AR Absolute Min. -13 deg. F.