Yesterday's system has left thus far left at least 20 people dead across the Southeastern United States and Mid Mississippi Valley. Unfortunately, it looks like the highest concentration of fatalities came from Enterprise, Alabama where an as of yet unrated tornado plowed through the town and then the local high school during the first half of the outbreak. The SPC's preliminary storm reports currently put the total around 15, making up approximately 75% of yesterday's storm related deaths.
However, all of this could have been much worse. The two PDS watches which were issued yesterday for much of the South did not have the widespread severe weather that was forecast. Weak instability, combined with convective inhibation due to on-going precip, prevented many storms from reaching severe levels.
By around 6:00 PM Central, the squall line along the Pacific Front had formed just to the east of Birmingham, and then proceeded to make it's push to the Atlantic Coast. Georiga, north of I-20, was largely spared from any severe weather. Similarily, northern South Carolina was largely spared. However, a secondary bout of severe weather did break out in the eastern Carolinas overnight, producing numerous reports of damaging winds.
Here's the 10 AM Central Day 1 Convective Outlook from yesterday. Astoundingly high probabilities...
typically "High Risk" areas are only deliniated once or twice per year. To borrow/steal a phrase, yesterday was indeed a "Particuarly Dangerous Situation".
Other Links:1 March 2007 storm reportsThe Tennesse-Alabama-Gulf Coast PDS WatchThe Georigia PDS watch