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Millions bracing for tornadoes in the South

A tornado in Whistler, Mississippi, tore through a chicken farm on Wednesday, shredding almost every building in sight. It was part of a massive front affecting more than 60 million people from Texas to Georgia. 

Twisters touched down in rural communities throughout Mississippi and Alabama. Hundreds of college students at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa were forced to shelter in place. The powerful storm produced heavy rains and winds, shutting down schools and vaccination sites across the South. 

The National Weather Service is calling it a particularly dangerous situation with the threat level higher than it's been in a decade. Watches and warnings are posted in more than half a dozen states from Oklahoma to Alabama. 

CBS New York chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn said the threat will continue into Thursday. 

"Everything you'd had thus far in Mississippi, Alabama is pretty frontal. It gets more intense as the front comes through and that comes later tonight," Quinn said. "It's not just tonight, though. This is going to continue into your day tomorrow. Tomorrow it's into North Carolina." 

Tracking severe weather targeting the South 01:12

March is usually filled with extremely volatile weather, as warm spring conditions battle to replace the cold of winter. When the two meet, severe weather and tornadoes are bound to emerge.

Tornadoes are becoming more common in March, and are also shifting location. A 2018 study found that there is a decreasing trend of tornadoes in what is traditionally known as Tornado Alley in the Plains states, but an increasing trend of tornadoes occurring across the Mid-South — the same general area which is expected to face this week's severe weather outbreak.

Jeff Berardelli contributed reporting. 

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