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Tornado threat especially high across the South

Posted at 10:06 AM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 12:12:01-04

With two solid weeks of severe weather already behind us, most of the country has been keeping a close eye on the weather. Today, however, is a little different.

The chances for tornadoes are much higher than they've been in the last two weeks and arguably the highest chance for any twisters so far this year.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for a severe thunderstorm outbreak "with a few strong tornadoes, very large hail, and damaging winds."

The highest risk area covers parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. And it includes some big cities like Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

RELATED: Storm Shield app provides life-saving weather alerts

A strong low pressure system and cold front is moving closer to the Southeast, a region with plenty of moisture and instability, ripe for strong to severe thunderstorms capable of producing widespread damage.

The increased risk for tornadoes is happening in a year that's already seen an exceptional number of tornadoes, nearly twice what it usually is by early April.

The number of tornadoes in 2017 is approaching 500, and after today, there's a good chance we'll surge past that number.

Everyone in the high risk area should have a way to get severe weather alerts, an emergency kit already packed and a safe tornado shelter already planned in case they fall in the line of an incoming tornado between this afternoon and overnight.

Follow Storm Shield Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are. Named by Time.com one of the best weather apps for your iPhone.