Fox News Weather Center

Reports: Dozens of schools close as severe weather outbreak begins to unfold across southeastern US

A significant threat for severe weather will focus on the southeastern United States on Wednesday with damaging storms putting lives and property in danger.

“Severe weather is going to quickly blossom Wednesday during the morning and early afternoon with storms capable of producing large hail, wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph, flooding downpours and tornadoes.

Thunderstorms will reach from the Gulf Coast into the Midwest with the most violent storms tracking across Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and the Florida Panhandle.

Severe wx 4.5.17

Tennis ball-sized hail has been reported in Clayton, Alabama, at about 1:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday.

Three radar sites are currently out of service in the affected area, at Montgomery and Ft. Rucker, Alamaba, and Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. This could possibly hamper storm warning abilities throughout the day.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared a statewide State of Emergency on Tuesday in anticipation of Wednesday’s severe weather outbreak. This will allow state agencies to be prepared to carry out the state Emergency Operations Plan if it is needed.

School districts across the region are also preparing for severe thunderstorms with dozens of schools announcing that they will be closed or will have an early dismissal on Wednesday. This includes several colleges and universities.