SCIENCE

Tornadoes Kill Six In Unseasonably Warm ‘Spring Storm’

"Christmas eve eve sitting in the closet," said a caption to a picture of children and their dog taking cover from the vicious storm

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:36 AM ET

Severe storms brought hail, pounding rain and tornadoes to Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee Wednesday night, killing at least six people and injuring more. People across several states flooded social media with photos showing the dark, ferocious weather and shared what they were doing to keep themselves safe, a Vocativ analysis found.

In Mississippi, the storms killed at least three people, including a 7-year-old boy who died when the storm picked up and threw the car he was riding in, the Associated Press reported. Two others were killed in Tennessee and one in Arkansas. Footage of the storm from the ground showed scattered trees and debris, including vehicles and some buildings.

The unseasonably warm storms are more typical of the kind of extreme weather seen in spring, not the day before Christmas—another result of the El Niño weather system that’s bringing more rain than snow this holiday. The National Weather Service said the threat was diminishing by Thursday morning, but warned more severe weather was still possible.

“I’m looking at some horrific damage right now,” Mayor Bill Luckett of Clarksdale, Mississippi said, according to the AP. “Sheet metal is wrapped around trees; there are overturned airplanes; a building is just destroyed.”

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