• The National Weather Service issued tornado warning in several southern states
  • An AccuWeather meteorologist warns the storm may be 'life-threatening'
  • The severe weather has killed five residents in Alabama

The National Weather Service on Thursday issued tornado warnings in Alabama, Atlanta and Georgia, urging residents to “take cover” as a dangerous, long-track tornado moves through the South.

Officials at the National Weather Service office in Alabama indicated that the tornado could have a significant impact on human life and urged residents to observe tornado safety plans.

“After going through another cycle, circulation is increasing once again. Will track through Helena and Pelham. Tornado safety plans, everyone. Get low, get in the middle of the building. DON'T WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE. TAKE COVER NOW!” the office wrote on Twitter.

The National Weather Service’s statement was later followed by a warning from AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno in which he said that the tornado outbreak across the southern U.S. is part of a “life-threatening severe weather outbreak.”

“These are definite. There’s going to be a tornado outbreak. There’s going to be widespread wind damage, and there’s going to be hail,” Rayno added.

At least 50 million households across the Southeast are in the path of destructive tornadoes, including residents of the Mississippi Valley who are still recovering from a series of storms just last week.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) by midday on Thursday issued level 5 severe weather alert.

Thursday's high-risk alert was the second of two level 5 alerts issue by the SPC this month -- the first time since 1991 the center has issued two level 5 alerts in March.

The severe weather could bring damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and hail across Southern states. Some areas could also see several inches of rain, while others, such as the counties of Bartow, Cherokee, Gordon and Towns, may see flash floods.

In Calhoun County, Alabama, the tornado that passed through Thursday afternoon led to the deaths of five residents and multiple injuries.

"There's numerous homes damaged, numerous people injured, and at least five fatalities," Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade told CNN. "We're worrying about the second storm that's coming through, possibly on the same track.”

The National Weather Service reported 14 isolated tornadoes in Alabama on Thursday and 1 in Mississippi.