The above image shows preliminary storm reports received by the SPC for Wednesday. So far, 162 tornadoes have been reported. Keep in mind, this number will change as damage surveys are completed (i.e., more than one spotter report of the same tornado could have been counted, etc.).
Regardless of the final actual count, needless to say it was an extremely active day with several long track, damaging tornadoes. Total severe weather reports (tornadoes, wind damage & hail) tally up to 648 so far.
The image below shows a more close-up view of Alabama, with tornado reports indicated by the red icons:
Again, this is a preliminary map, but you can see several "swaths" of what appear to be long track tornadoes. I will be taking a closer look at the data over the coming few days (as well as reviewing storm survey reports) and will make a more detailed analysis on a storm-by-storm basis later on.
One supercell thunderstorm in particular appears to have tracked from near Philadelphia, MS across the entire state of Alabama (striking Tuscaloosa and Birmingham) and into northwest Georgia before ending somewhere around the Tennessee / North Carolina border. This track is over 350 miles long, and the storm appears to have had a tornado on the ground with it for the majority of the time.
The loss of life across the South yesterday was tragic, currently reported as over 170 (131 of which are currently reported in Alabama alone). Over 600 people are reported as injured. Please keep this entire region in your thoughts & prayers as the recovery process will be a long one. The devastation is incredible. I will post just a few damage photos below, there will be much more to come in more detailed posts later on:
You can also take a look at this post (which deals specifically with the tornado and damage in Tuscaloosa) for some very impressive videos of and other images of both the tornado and damage.
Check back to the main blog page frequently over the next few days for more detailed summaries on individual storms as more data comes in. I'll also post detailed radar imagery for each event as well.