Tornadoes & destructive winds expected Saturday

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Severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes and destructive straight-line winds are possible all across East Mississippi and West Alabama on Saturday. All of the WTOK viewing area is included in the increased threat of dangerous weather. The only variation from one place to another will be the timing.

TIMING
Saturday's threat was already unfolding across Oklahoma and Texas Friday afternoon. It will track eastward through Arkansas and Louisiana through the night and approach the Mississippi River around 6-7 AM Saturday.

Storms will begin moving into our area around 9-10 AM and exit to the east by 2-3 PM.

Impact Times

  • 9 AM to 1 PM: Philadelphia, Choctaw, Pearl River Resort, Louisville, Union, Newton, Decatur, East Central Community College, Lawrence, Conehatta, Lake, Sebastopol, Forest, Raleigh, and Carthage.

  • 10 AM to 2 PM: Meridian, Meridian Community College, Naval Air Station Meridian, MSU-Meridian, Marion, Collinsville, Vimville, Causeyville, Zero, Clarkdale, DeKalb, Scooba, East Mississippi Community College, Electric Mills, Preston, Klondike, Tucker, House, Little Rock, Chunky, Hickory, Quitman, Stonewall, Enterprise, Snell, Pachuta, Shubuta, Waynesboro, Laurel, Ellisville. Cuba, Geiger, Emelle, Starkville, and Mississippi State University.

  • 11 AM to 3 PM: Livingston, University of West Alabama, York, Demopolis, Butler, Lisman, Gilbertown, Silas, Toxey, Linden, Sweet Water, Dixons Mill, and Coffeeville.

Impact
Severe thunderstorms will bring widespread destructive winds, possibly as high as 80-100 mph, tornadoes, large hail, and 1-3 inches of rain. Localized flash flooding is possible. More river flooding is likely to occur, too. With the risk of 80-100 mph winds, severe thunderstorm warnings should be treated like tornado warnings since that kind of wind can do the damage that tornadoes can do.

PREPAREDNESS

Remember.... take time NOW to remind yourself of what to do and where to go if dangerous weather threatens. Make sure everyone in your home knows. If you live in a mobile home, make a plan for a safer alternative. DO NOT RELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR TORNADO SIRENS FOR WARNINGS. Social media sites use algorithms that will often not allow you to see posts for weeks or even a year. Sirens don't always work, and when they do they aren't designed to be heard indoors. Good sources for warning information are local television and radio, NOAA Weather Radio, the emergency alert feature on your cell phone, and local media or National Weather Service websites.​