Risk for potential severe weather high in North Mississippi on Wednesday

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lafayette County can expect severe weather on Wednesday, but how much and what time remained in question this morning.

County Emergency Management Agency Director David Shaw said residents need to have a plan at all times for different types of severe weather, but should definitely be prepared for rough weather on Wednesday.

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“We can count on some sort of severe weather with the possibility of tornadoes,” Shaw said this morning. “That doesn’t mean we will have a tornado, but there is a very good chance of it.”

According to the National Weather Service, severe weather is expected in the Mid-South from mid-afternoon Wednesday into Wednesday night.

“An enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms exists across areas along and east of the Mississippi River and a slight risk for severe thunderstorms west,” according to a NWS news release. “All hazards will be possible to include the potential for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes. The greatest threat for tornadoes is expected to be south of I-40. Localized heavy rainfall will also be possible.”

Shaw said folks need to take action today in regard to where to go in the event of a tornado warning or if a severe weather warning is issued by the National Weather Service.

“We need to make a family communication plan in the event traditional communication or cellphone services are knocked out,” Shaw said. “How to get in touch with your family to make sure they’re safe and where they need to be. We can’t stop the weather, but we can mitigate the effects of it and what to do to be safe.”

Shaw said he would be in touch today with county road manager Jerry Haynie, as well as the sheriff’s department and fire departments to make sure they are aware of the severe weather risk and to put their plans in effect if necessary.

“I am actually reviewing all of the forecasts now to see what our specific threat is here,” Shaw said. “Right now, I’m trying to nail down the timing of the severe weather and the duration.”

Shaw is also in communication with the National Weather Service in determining when the severe weather will arrive on Wednesday and how long it will last.

“None of the predictions are 100 percent, but we can get a better idea of when and where it will happen and for how long,” Shaw said.