People should go to public tornado shelters if they’re available and the best refuge, a meteorology group says. Kim Carmichael picks up items from her daughter’s house, which was damaged by a tornado on Thursday in Harrisburg, Ark. (Quentin Winstine/The Jonesboro Sun via AP) A severe weather outbreak, including the threat of widespread damaging winds, large hail and potentially strong tornadoes, is likely this weekend for portions of the South. The storms come as coronavirus concerns have prompted the shuttering of many community storm shelters, since some public officials fear the repercussions of prioritizing tornado safety over social distancing. In advance of this weekend’s anticipated onslaught of vicious weather, the American Meteorological Society, the scientific organization representing about 12,000 meteorologists, is seeking to prevent people from avoiding tornado shelters due to coronavirus fears. “Do not let the virus prevent you from seeking refuge from a tornado,” wrote the AMS in a public statement released Thursday afternoon. “If a public tornado shelter is your best available refuge from severe weather, take steps to ensure you follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing and disease prevention.” [Officials weigh whether to open community tornado shelters amid the coronavirus crisis] Their advice echoes a March


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