SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Tornado flattens buildings in Jonesboro, Arkansas, as severe weather moves across the Midwest, Lower Mississippi River Valley

A moderate risk, level 4 out of 5, has been issued across areas of the Midwest where strong, long-track tornadoes are possible Saturday afternoon and through the evening hours.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 7:49 PM


[Breaking news update, posted 6:52 p.m. ET]

A tornado struck Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Saturday afternoon, flattening buildings and overturning vehicles, CNN affiliate KAIT reported.

Jonesboro E-911 Director Jeff Presley told KAIT the Mall at Turtle Creek received damage and authorities were doing search and rescue in the area.

Video from the scene showed several overturned vehicles and buildings knocked down. There were no immediate reports on injuries.

Jonesboro is located about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock.

[Previous update posted at 6:20 p.m. ET]

Severe weather, including tornadoes and hail, was possible Saturday afternoon and night for large portions of the United States, especially the Midwest.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center issued a rare "Particularly Dangerous Situation" tornado watch for parts of the Midwest through Saturday night. These storms, which could produce hail the size of baseballs or larger along with damaging 70-plus mph winds, threaten about 5 million people, CNN meteorologists said.

The states most at risk are Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. That's where long-track, intense and multiple tornadoes could develop during the afternoon and continuing into the evening.

Overall, 70 million Americans face the threat of severe weather, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said. The greatest threat for a significant weather outbreak covers roughly 45,000 square miles, including Chicago metro area.

"All weather modeling points to a significant severe weather outbreak for portions of the Midwest today, with lower chances as you travel south towards the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valley Region," he said

"The threats include tornadoes (a few which may be significant), large to very large hail and severe wind gusts."

The weather service issued the first of several tornado watches for parts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri Saturday afternoon and more serious tornado warning for Stuart and other towns west of Des Moines.

In a tweet, the weather service reported a funnel cloud with a brief tornado touchdown 6 miles southeast of Fontanelle moving northeast. No other details were available.

Unseasonably warm and moist air ahead of a rapidly intensifying, low-pressure system will fuel the storms, which will stretch from the central portion of the country to the Great Lakes and Northeast.

A tweet on Saturday from the weather service said some cities at risk of severe storms are Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville and Columbus, Tennessee; and Madison Wisconsin.

Here's the tornado-risk breakdown:

  • Northern Illinois: moderate risk
  • Missouri, Iowa and Indiana: enhanced risk
  • Midwest, Southeast and Ohio Valley: Slight risk

4 tornado safety tips that could save your life

"As the storm intensifies and heads toward the upper Midwest, a wind-driven cold rain is expected to spread across the central Plains on Saturday," according to the Weather Prediction Center. "Some of the rain could change over to wet snow Saturday night across the upper Midwest."

The severe threat will likely peak on Saturday and continue into the early evening.

Also this weekend, a heat wave in the Southeast is breaking record high temperatures.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
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Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
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Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
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Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
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Starke175643
Jay168223
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Carroll159115
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Perry155229
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Parke13088
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Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
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