Latest Weather Warnings, Forecasts For Tornado-Hit States

Forecasters expect conditions to ease for central and southern states hit by tornados and severe weather overnight, following conditions that led to deaths, widespread damage and mass power outages.

More than 30 tornado reports were recorded in at least six states on Friday into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Storm Prediction Center.

On Friday night, the NWS issued a tornado watch for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas until 5 a.m. CST Saturday.

Throughout the early hours of Saturday morning, the NWS issued updates and extended until 6.15 a.m. tornado warnings for parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

A tornado watch was issued for Greater Cincinnati counties in Ohio until 6 a.m., according to the NWS although a severe storm warning that had been issued for the region in Ohio was canceled, the NWS said.

After severe weather warnings from Arkansas to Indiana, the severity of the storms is anticipated to die down throughout Saturday, with the greatest threat during the early morning hours.

In an advisory on Saturday morning, the NWS said that in Kentucky "strong thunderstorms will impact portions of Harlan, Bell, southern Leslie, Letcher, southeastern Perry, southern Knott, southeastern Floyd, southeastern Whitley and Pike Counties" unitl about 10 a.m.

Conditions are also expected to ease in Illinois, where a wind advisory for gusts of up to 50 mph is in place until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Tornado damage Mayfield, Kentucky
General view of tornado damaged businesses on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. Multiple tornadoes tore through parts of the lower Midwest late on Friday night, leaving a large path of destruction. Brett Carlsen/Getty

In an advisory looking ahead to Monday, the NWS said that there was only a slight risk of severe thunderstorms over parts of the Ohio, Tennessee Valleys, and parts of the Southeast through Sunday morning.

"The threat for severe thunderstorms ends on Sunday morning as the front moves offshore," it said.

In its advisory issued at 6.55 a.m. CST on Saturday, the Storm Prediction Center said that "sporadic severe thunderstorms" could take place between the west slopes of the south-central Appalachians to the northern Gulf States.

"Damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes will be possible, mainly early in the day," it said, adding that there was a "slight risk of severe thunderstorms from east-central Mississippi to extreme southwestern Virginia."

The tornadoes have left considerable destruction. CNN meteorologists said there may have been one long-track twister that hit a 200-mile long stretch between Arkansas and Kentucky.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said up to 100 people may have died in "one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history." He said "dozens" had been killed at a candle factory in Mayfield, where 110 people had been working when the storm hit.

There were also fatalities at the collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, and at least one person died and five were seriously injured when a tornado struck a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas.

There were also three fatalities connected to the storm reported in Tennessee as well as one in Missouri.