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Storms, tornadoes killed at least 18 in US South (VIDEO)

Storms, tornadoes killed at least 18 in US South (VIDEO)A severe storm system that spun off apparent tornadoes, pulverized mobile homes and scattered other destruction around the Southeast has claimed at least 18 lives on a two-day assault on the region, authorities said, according to Associated Press.

The violent weather destroyed homes, downed trees and caused other damage in the hardest-hit communities from Mississippi to Georgia.

At least 14 people were killed Sunday in Georgia as the intense, fast-moving storms tore across the state throughout the day, with at least one deadly tornado reported before dawn and violent storms still rumbling after nightfall. Four people were killed Saturday in Mississippi when the system began to ramp up.

While the central part of the U.S. has a fairly defined tornado season — the spring — the risk of tornadoes "never really goes to zero" for most of the year in the southeast, said Patrick Marsh of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

January tornado outbreaks are rare but not unprecedented, particularly in the South. Data from the Storm Prediction Center shows that, over the past decade, the nation has seen an average 38 tornadoes in January, ranging from a high of 84 in 2008 to just four in 2014.

The last time the prediction center issued a high-risk weather outlook — where forecasters are very confident of a tornado outbreak — was in 2014. Sunday marked only the third time since 2000 that any part of Florida had been at a high-risk for severe weather, Marsh said.



"This is a pretty rare event in this location," Marsh said.
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