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Deadly storm hits eastern U.S., now shifting north along the spine of the Appalachians, then across the Northeast Friday while rapidly strengthening

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A powerful winter storm slammed the eastern U.S. on Thursday, February 6, 2020, spawning tornadoes in which one person was killed and another injured. The storm is shifting north along the spine of the Appalachians today, then across the Northeast Friday, February 7 while rapidly strengthening. Heavy snow and ice is expected north and west of the storm track. South of the storm, severe thunderstorms will again bring a risk of damaging winds and isolated tornadoes in the Southeast. Heavy rainfall poses a risk for flooding along the East Coast.

A tornado touched down in Marengo County in Alabama at around 2:15 LT (8:15 UTC), which destroyed two mobile homes, killed one person, and left another injured, according to battalion chief Michael Pope of the Demopolis Fire and Rescue.

Meanwhile, another twister wreaked havoc in Mississippi, according to the Jasper County Sheriff's Department. More than 7 000 customers were left without power after an outage around 02:30 LT (08:15 UTC), primarily in Clarke, Jasper, and Lauderdale Counties.

"Numerous trees down. Please stay off the roads," the department warned. Tornado watches remain in place on Thursday for parts of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and Georgia.

There were also disruptions at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport due to the severe weather, with delays up to one hour and 30 minutes and still increasing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Control System Command Center. 

The furious storm system continues to threaten millions of people across the Southeast as flash flood warnings were issued amid torrential rain moving east.

"Flash flooding will continue from the Gulf Coast north to New York City," said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

In the Northeast, "snow is pounding New England along with ice, bringing dangerous travel." He added that the mix of winter weather is due to a storm that is engulfing much of the eastern U.S.

As the winter storm heads north along the Appalachians Thursday, snow and ice are expected north and west of the storm's path. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), severe thunderstorms "will again bring a risk of damaging winds and tornadoes in the Southeast while heavy rainfall poses a risk for flooding for the E. Coast."

Through the end of this week, the storm's cooler, drier air will clash with warm, moist air across the East, which will result in a swath of snow from Texas to New England, and sleet from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic.

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA. Acquired February 6, 2020 at 16:30 UTC.

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