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Tornadoes Kill 14 in US South; East Sees Record Warmth

  • Ken Schwartz

A vehicle sits among debris near Linden, Tenn., Dec. 24, 2015, following rare Christmastime tornadoes.

A vehicle sits among debris near Linden, Tenn., Dec. 24, 2015, following rare Christmastime tornadoes.

Hundreds of families in the U.S. South and Midwest will be spending Christmas in emergency shelters after losing their homes to rare December tornadoes.

Severe storms have killed at least 14 people since Wednesday, with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant declaring a state of emergency in several counties.

More than a dozen tornadoes touched down as far north as Michigan, destroying or severely damaging homes and businesses.

With warm weather shattering temperature records, a New York street vendor waits for customers to buy his winter hats and sweatshirts on Christmas Eve in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, Dec. 24, 2015.

With warm weather shattering temperature records, a New York street vendor waits for customers to buy his winter hats and sweatshirts on Christmas Eve in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, Dec. 24, 2015.

Seven dead were reported in Mississippi, six in Tennessee and one in Arkansas.

In the East, soaking rain and record-setting temperatures as high as 22 degrees Celsius in such major cites as New York, Washington and Philadelphia made the day before Christmas feel more like the middle of spring.

Anyone wanting a white Christmas this year will have to go to the Northwest, where cold temperatures and heavy snow are forecast for Washington state, Oregon, Nevada and northern California.

Government experts say the weather pattern known as El Nino is partially responsible for the unseasonably warm and violent weather in much of the U.S.

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