Thursday, 18 April 2013

Major severe weather outbreak possible for Mississippi late Thursday

Major severe weather outbreak possible for Mississippi late Thursday, Widespread damaging winds and tornadoes are a major threat in a possible outbreak late Thursday across Mississippi.

The National Weather Service (NWS) and the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) have highlighted the entire state for the risk of severe storms with areas along and north of Interstate 20 in central and northern Mississippi under a heightened and or moderate risk.

View slideshow: Major severe weather outbreak possible for Mississippi late Thursday
"An outbreak of severe weather is expected this afternoon and evening as a potent squall line and potential severe storms ahead of the line move into a unstable and sheared air mass that will be in place," the NWS said.

"The likelihood of hazardous weather is high and scattered to numerous severe thunderstorms will be capable of damaging winds from 60 to 80 mph and tornadoes. The possibility of at least a few strong tornadoes exists," the NWS added.

The combination of unusually warm and moist airmass with temperatures in the low to mid 80s statewide, combined with strong atmospheric shear will make for very unstable conditions and set the stage for the potential outbreak.

"Strong winds aloft coupled with a moist and unstable airmass will provide the potential for rather widespread damaging winds with the line. Some of the gusts could be locally strong to extreme," the SPC said.

"A few tornadoes are possible with storms ahead of the line," the SPC added.

The greatest threat for severe storms and tornadoes are expected to begin around 4 p.m. Thursday and continue as a line of intense storms crosses the state until 4 a.m. Friday, according to the NWS.

Everyone is strongly urged to stay updated on the latest weather information as it becomes available and to be prepared to seek shelter immediately if your area is threatened.

One week ago, a large and violent tornado tore a nearly 70-mile-long damage path across parts of east-central Mississippi, leaving one person dead and several other injured.

The month of April is historically the most dangerous and deadly month for tornadoes in the state.

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