Mississippi Skies: Afternoon severe threat update

Published 2:26 pm Monday, January 2, 2023

Confidence is increasing for the chance of significant severe weather in several regions of Mississippi as a strong cold front moves in from our northwest. There will be two chances of severe weather with the first beginning around 5 p.m. today and lasting through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

There is only a small sliver of a Level 3 risk along the Mississippi River, but most of the Mississippi Delta and areas from Southaven to Vicksburg to Natchez are in a Level 2 alert. With this threat, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible, along with hair and strong winds. A Level 1 risk includes Tupelo to Jackson to Brookhaven with the threat of isolated severe storms, a tornado or two, and damaging wind gusts.

The second round Tuesday covers most of the state, albeit with threat levels shifted farther to the east.

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The Delta region stretching towards Oxford is under a Level 1 risk with isolated storms while Ripley to Columbus to Vicksburg to Natchez are under a Level 2 risk with severe storms and tornadoes possible.

A large portion of central to south Mississippi from Meridian to Brookhaven, Hattiesburg, and Picayune is under a Level 3 risk. The Storm Prediction Center Level 3 risk means severe storms are likely with tornadoes, some possibly strong. Storms could also have gusts up to 70 miles per hour and large hail.

Tuesday’s risk is mainly from noon until 8 p.m. Several communities have shelters open this evening and more plan to open tomorrow. Check your local county’s emergency management office for addresses and hours available.