Another powerful weather system is moving through the central and eastern U.S., generating more severe weather. NASA created an animation of data from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite that shows the frontal system pushing east as it generated severe weather in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. At least 12 tornadoes were reported in three states before mid-day on March 2.
NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13, captures visible and infrared images of weather over the eastern U.S. every 15 minutes, and has been capturing the movement of the weather system on March 2, 2012. NOAA operates the GOES series of satellites, and NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. compiles the images into animations. The GOES visible and infrared data is compiled and then overlayed on a true-color land surface map of the U.S. that was created using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies on NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.
The 25 second movie runs from Feb. 29 at 1718 UTC (12:18 p.m. EST) through March 2 at 1740 UTC (12:40 p.m. EST), and shows the progression of the first storm system that generated about 20 tornadoes on February 29 and the second cold front behind it creating the severe weather on March 2.
The Ohio and Tennessee Valleys are under the gun and in a "High Risk" area for severe storms and tornadoes today, March 2 and overnight into March 3. NOAA's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issues risk maps. Areas under a moderate risk for severe weather on March 2 include Alabama (which has already reported two tornadoes), central Mississippi, north Georgia, Illinois (has reported one tornado), Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. The risk for severe thunderstorms extends as far east as the Carolinas.
Twelve possible tornadoes were reported across three states by mid-day. According to the Associated Press, nine tornadoes touched down in Alabama before 1:30 p.m., local time, destroying houses and a jail. Another round of strong to severe storms will be possible in the late afternoon and evening in northern Alabama. In Clinton County, Illinois a tornado was reported to touch down today, according to KMOV-TV. Two more twisters were reported in Tennessee. Eastern Missouri reported strong thunderstorms that dropped quarter-sized hail earlier today. Hail one-half inch in diameter was reported in Allen, Ind.
The National Weather Service has issued a lot of severe weather watches and warnings. All of these areas are under severe thunderstorm watches, some under tornado watches and flash flood watches. West of and behind the front, the Quad cities in Iowa, areas of Illinois and lower Michigan are dealing with a Winter Weather Advisory, and will watch the rain change over to snow.
As the low pressure system and associated cold front push east, National Weather Service in Charleston, West Virginia calls for showers and thunderstorms that could be severe today and tonight, that may include damaging winds and hail. Once the cold front sweeps through the thunderstorm activity will end.
Explore further: GOES-13 satellite animation shows US severe storms and tornado outbreak