Mississippi Skies: Prepare now for possible tornadoes, severe storms later today

Published 1:30 am Friday, March 24, 2023

The Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service offices in Memphis, Jackson, New Orleans, and Mobile are continuing to monitor the possibility of a severe weather outbreak across the Magnolia State later today and overnight. With each office responsible for various regions of the state, forecasters at all four regional offices agree that severe storms and tornadoes are likely in parts of the state and possible everywhere else.

Parts of Mississippi have been upgraded to a Level 4 risk with a 5 being the highest. The wording from the National Weather Service for this threat zone is strong: “Tornadoes likely, with some strong. Damaging winds of 70-80 miles per hour and large hail up to golf ball size likely.”

The Level 4 risk includes the Mississippi Delta and Mississippi River counties from roughly just south of Tunica to Natchez. It expands eastward to include Jackson, Yazoo City, Greenwood, and almost to Eupora. Timing is 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. for closer to the river and from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. closer to I-55.

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A Level 3 covers the rest of northern and central Mississippi with its southern border being a curved line from just south of Meridian to Collins to south of Brookhaven. In this area, tornadoes are possible with some possibly strong. Damaging winds up to 70 miles per hour are expected with large hail possible.

A Level 2 covers from Quitman to Laurel to Columbia and south to the coastal counties. In this zone, damaging winds and hail are possible, and tornadoes can’t be ruled out completely.

A Level 1 covers the coastal county with some of the same risks, but not as widespread or likely.

Once we get through this round, it’s still looking like Saturday will be a nice day for most of us, but another round of severe weather is expected for parts of the state Sunday.

North Mississippi

Mostly sunny most of the day with a few showers later in the afternoon. High of 81. Severe storms overnight with heavy rainfall, dangerous winds, and tornadoes possible. Low of 59.

Central Mississippi

Cloudy early, then clearing with a high of 84. A few showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Severe storms and tornadoes possible in the evening and overnight. Low of 60.

South Mississippi

Cloudy early, then becoming sunny. Showers and thunderstorms possible later in the afternoon. High of 84. Tonight, showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe. Low of 64.

Gulf Coast

Partly sunny with a high near 80. Showers and thunderstorms possible tonight with a low of 70.