Shortly before noon Thursday, a supercell thunderstorm developed in Kemper County, Miss., about 4 miles northwest of the town of Liberty. This storm spawned a tornado that left one dead and several others injured as a large steel building was demolished.
Kemper County sheriff James Moore reported that the fatality occurred near a power plant along Highway 493. There was also heavy damage to trees and power poles, the sheriff said, and the storm left up to 4,000 without electricity.
The tornado that spun its path of destruction near the small Mississippi town was part of a swarm of dozens of dangerous storms that blasted through the Southeast Thursday.
A powerful cold front slicing eastward brought over 100 reports of severe weather stretching from eastern Louisiana and Mississippi into Alabama, even reaching as far north as Tennessee and Kentucky.
In Louisiana, the National Weather Service (NWS) sent a survey team of meteorologists to St. Tammany Parish, where another tornado ripped just south of the Slidell Airport.
The survey team determined the tornado was on the weak side of the Enhanced Fujita scale, rating it an EF0 with winds between 65 and 85 mph.
Still, the twister managed to cause plenty of havoc as large trees were snapped and uprooted and thrown onto nearby roadways.
Large hail was also a common spectacle Thursday as the storms moved through towns like Rockmart, Ga. Ice chunks as large as baseballs fell from the sky, destroying vegetation and damaging vehicles. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
By the end of the day Thursday, the storms had made it as far east as the western Carolinas.
Gusts as high as 60 mph brought down trees and power lines west of Charlotte, N.C., and west of Columbia, S.C.
These storms will push into the eastern Carolinas and southeastern Virginia Friday, with tornadoes, destructive hail and damaging winds possible from Raleigh, N.C., to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Norfolk, Va.
Cooler and more seasonable weather is expected this weekend, along with plenty of sunshine.