Severe weather expected for today, tonight

news_severe_greenBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal

MEMA and the National Weather Service say Northeast Mississippians should be prepared for the likelihood of severe weather today and tonight.

“The spring storm season is upon us, and there appears to be a significant outbreak possible Thursday night,” said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Robert Latham. “What concerns me even more is this will be an evening and overnight event, so our citizens need to know how they will receive warnings and what their emergency plan is now.”

National Weather Service forecasters say after thunderstorms were expected to bring rain and lightning to the Mid-South on Wednesday, stronger storms will likely generate today, bringing the possibilities of large hail, damaging winds and localized flash flooding.

“The ingredients look like they could all be coming together for a very large and significant outbreak,” said Benjamin Schott, warning coordinator for the National Weather Service office in Memphis.

Forecasters expect parts of Northeast Mississippi to receive two to three inches of rain by Friday morning, including Wednesday rainfall, with the chance of higher totals in localized areas.

“Right now primary hazards are going to be hail and flash flooding early in the day, even severe winds,” added forecaster Andy Chiuppi. Straight-line winds could be as high as 80 miles per hour, which can uproot trees, disable power lines and damage buildings.

Tornadoes are a possibility by early afternoon, increasing in likelihood as the day progresses.

“Thursday night after about 6 p.m. looks like the best timing of tornado risk for the Tupelo area,” Chiuppi said. “Our area is all under a ‘moderate risk’ designation. By Friday morning, it looks like every threat will have moved out of the area.”

For information about how to be prepared for severe weather, go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org.

errol.castens@journalinc.com