Live updates: Tornado outbreak threatens US South


The Storm Prediction Center is warning that today’s storms and the tornadoes they produce will be fast-moving.

“Forecast wind fields and model soundings reasonably suggest any sustained supercells and their tornadoes will be fast-moving (45-55 kt), with individual tornado paths nearly as long in miles as their duration in minutes,” the Storm Prediction Center said Thursday morning.

That means any tornadoes that form could be moving at speeds of 51 mph to 63 mph.

And while the the National Weather Service says they don’t have detailed statistics about how quickly tornadoes move, they do say, on average, “a typical tornado travels at around 10-20 miles per hour.”

This means these could be moving at nearly three times the typical speed.

“Tornadoes in the Southeast tend to move along quicker than their Great Plains counterparts — it is not unusual to see tornadoes in the Southeast traveling at 40 or more mph,” CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller says.

This is because they tend to be associated with fast-moving jet streams dipping down into region, which can provide a fast track for the storms to ride on. 

“This, along with the fact that the region has higher population density, more tall trees that obscure visibility, and the tendency for tornadoes to form at night, all make tornadoes in the Southeast particularly dangerous,”Miller says.

If you are in one of the outlooked areas, be prepared to move to a safe spot this afternoon if a warning is issued.

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