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Dangerous Storms Hit Dixie Alley

severe thunderstorm satellite photo
The line of severe thunderstorms moving through the Deep South was captured by a satellite. (Image credit: NASA/NOAA)

A threatening storm system hit the southeast today (Nov. 16), spawning reported tornadoes and prompting tornado warrnings for areas west of Montgomery, Ala., and north of Atlanta, Ga. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Ala., was tracking the dangerous storms across deadly Dixie Alley , with the primary threat being damaging straight line winds and possible isolated tornadoes. The storms began this morning in Louisiana, where a tornado reportedly knocked a house 10 feet (3 meters) off its foundation. The storm system has since moved northeast through the Deep South.

Significant damage was reported in parts of Mississippi. Near Auburn Univeristy, in eastern Alabama, storms downed trees and knocked out power. A tornado was spotted near the Weather Channel's headquarters north of Atlanta. 

The storm system will be moving quickly to the northeast through the early evening. A tornado watch is in effect for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama until 9:00 pm EST, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

A split in the jet stream — common this time of the year during La Niña — has produced the atmospheric conditions ripe for severe weather across the South and into the Ohio River Valley.

Tornadoes can strike virtually anywhere and anytime in the United States, and November is known as the second tornado season  because it is a particularly big month for twisters, especially in the Southeast.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.