Tornadoes cause damage in south; no injuries reported
Tornadoes touched down in the south as two powerful winter storms Saturday threatened dangerous winds and heavy snow from the Northern Plains to Upper Midwest, and hail and tornadoes from northeast Texas into southern Indiana.
By Saturday afternoon, two tornadoes had already touched down in Arkansas.
There were no reports of injuries or deaths nearly a week after a tornado killed 23 people in Alabama.
A tornado touched down near Carlisle, about 30 miles east of Little Rock, Arkansas, and a second storm was near the unincorporated community of Slovak, southeast of Carlisle, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Goudsward.
Video on Facebook appears to show the destructive weather phenomenon in Slovak.
Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman in Arkansas said several buildings were destroyed, power lines were brought down and at least one home was damaged.
“It was more than straight-line winds. One of the shops, it had debris strewn over two miles, (another) one of them was just twisted in a big twist with metal on top of automobiles that were in there,” Hickman said.
In northeast Mississippi, strong winds tore away roofs and pulled down bricks from some buildings in the small community of Walnut, population about 3,000.
The National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi, confirmed on Twitter that a tornado touched down in Montgomery County on Saturday afternoon.
"Take shelter if you're in the path of this storm!" the weather service tweeted.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski warns of heavy, wind-driven snows from the Dakotas to parts of northern Michigan from Saturday night to Sunday morning.
The National Weather service warned of hazardous driving conditions on the snow-covered roads in the target areas.
Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph threaten to topple high-profile vehicles and bring widespread power outages and property damage, according to AccuWeather.
Winter storm warnings were in effect from parts of the northern Plains into the upper Mississippi Valley.
By mid-morning Saturday, parts of the western Dakotas had already seen up to 9 inches of snow.
Much of central and western Minnesota, in the Twin cities, was bracing for up to 10 inches of snow.
In the south, warm, humid air pushing out of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a cold front was expected to produce heavy rains, thunderstorm, hail and possible tornadoes from the central Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley.
The Weather Channel says a powerful jet stream pushing into the Mississippi Valley will deliver the deep wind shear – the change in wind speed and direction with height – required to support severe thunderstorms.
Contributing: The Associated Press.