MERIDIAN, MISS. (WTOK) - Temperatures are already warming into the mid to upper 70s throughout East Mississippi and West Alabama this afternoon. The increase in temperature from this moment on will only provide more fuel for storms moving in tonight. Highs are expected to reach 80 for Meridian today. All throughout the day today we will likely remain dry with the exception of a few isolated showers. Any day time plans are good to go. After sunset however, we have a different situation on our hands. Before you go to sleep tonight have a tornado safety plan ready to go. Know where you will take shelter. Mobile homes, non-sturdy homes, top floors of apartment buildings, and cars are not where you want to be when a tornado strikes. Have multiple ways to get severe weather notifications that will wake you up during the night in the case of a tornado warning. Examples are weather radios and your cell phone. Have electronics charged before you go to bed in case of a power outage.
The main threat begins starting as early as 10 p.m. for our far western counties including Winston, Leake, Smith, Scott, and Neshoba. The line of storms will be crossing over I-55 around this time entering further into east MS likely around the midnight hour. Again, most people will be asleep at this time be sure you have the means necessary to get information in the middle of the night. This will last until around 5:00 am Sunday morning for East MS, and closer to 6 a.m. for West AL. All storms will move out early in the morning, leaving the rest of Sunday cloudy with isolated showers. We clear up overnight into Monday where we see otherwise quiet weather conditions for the next couple of days.
So, what type of weather/ damage should we expect out of this event? The moderate risk has been extended eastward and now embodies our western counties including Smith, Scott, and Leake. This can also be seen as a level 4 out of 5 in terms of severity. The threat for tornados is not only there, but is on the higher end. Tornados EF-2 or greater, and long track tornados are included in this risk. We will still have the threat for our other modes of severe weather including high winds up to 70 mph, and large hail. Flood concerns are rather low right now, but cannot be ruled out for low lying or flood prone areas. The rest of us will all be under a slight risk (3 out of 5). This means that our chances do go down slightly from seeing all fours modes of severe weather mentioned, but they are still very much present.