Pee Dee warned to brace for severe weather

Forecasters said a wide area including large parts of Alabama, Georgia and SC were under the threat of powerful, long-lived tornadoes.

Storms on Sunday and Monday killed five people, including a MS woman who desperately tried to direct rescuers to her sinking vehicle after it skidded into a rain-swollen creek.

The cancellation (which wiped out Mike Weir's hole-in-one on the fourth hole) was forced by a strong severe weather system that left a huge area under tornado watches until as late as 2 a.m. ET Friday, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said.

This setup differs from typical severe weather episodes in Alabama because areas in the eastern part of the state could face the greatest threat.

Some tornadoes are likely with a couple of intense tornadoes also possible.

Those storms will quickly spread eastward as we get close to the evening commute.

In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. There was one minor injury caused by the storm.

All of the instability parameters are coming together for a significant severe thunderstorm/tornado event across Georgia and SC today. One person was injured in Tennessee when a mobile home was destroyed, Weather.com reported.

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The weather also affected the Masters golf tournament, where officials suspended practice rounds about 10 a.m. Patrons were evacuated because of the storm.

Forecasters say some of the largest hail hit early Wednesday in the east Alabama city of Oxford, where convenience store manager Don Copeland says ice was so thick on the ground it looked like it had snowed.

A tornado watch remains in effect for many counties around the tri-state junction and interior south Georgia until 8:00 tonight.

The severe weather also moved into the OH and Tennessee valleys, according to the National Weather Service.

"We've seen some reports of hail an inch or two inches in diameter, so that can be damaging", Cokley said.

There's also a risk of damaging winds, large hail and possibly "isolated tornadoes", and thunderstorms are expected to continue into Thursday, the NWS forecast said. The small town is about 30 miles south of Joplin, Missouri, where an EF-5 tornado killed 161 people in May 2011.

From our standpoint, little has changed in that we still expect widespread shower and thunderstorm activity to arrive this afternoon with an increased threat of severe weather during the evening hours and deep into the overnight.

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms remain possible until 9 p.m. when the Tornado watch for the area expires. The high temperature will be near 67.

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