Weather risk still includes possible tornadoes today in the Mid-South

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Today’s threat of tornadoes has increased, according to the National Weather Service in Memphis.

Meteorologist Phil Baker said not much has changed since yesterday in the way of the severe weather threat that will hit the Lafayette County area except for elevated chances for more serious storms, especially to our north.

“The chances for severe weather for Oxford will go up after noon and will start to go up quite quickly afterwards,” Baker said.

Email newsletter signup

He said the best chances for tornadoes will be from about 3 to 7 p.m. locally.

“There will be storms out to the west from Clarksdale and Tunica,” he said. “You’ll see those as early as noon or 1 p.m., and those will probably move toward the north and head just east of Memphis. It looks like the whole area, certainly by 3 p.m., that’s when chances go up.”

Baker said the atmosphere ingredients are ripe for super cell thunderstrorms and we can expect to see 70 mph winds. The storms are going to move north, northeast about 50 mph, so you can check the radar before traveling.

But, the severe risk won’t last too long.

“It looks like it will pull out this evening,” he said. “Oxford will be out of the woods after 8 p.m. then it looks like it will be all toward the east toward the Natchez Trace Parkway.”

The good news, Baker said, is Christmas Eve should be fairly quiet, but we could see some thunderstorms return. Christmas Day should be humid and warm, ushering in another system.

“Sunday night early into Monday — there is still a lot of uncertainty with that system,” he said. “We’re going to get the humid, warm air back into Mississsippi on Christmas Day. That’s going to fuel more chances for thunderstorms for the weekend.”