Update: 20 injured as several possible tornadoes tear across South Mississippi
Residents and visitors across Mississippi are strongly urged to be weather aware as you go about your Christmas holiday plans today with a tornado outbreak and even snow forecast for parts of the state.
The Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service continue to call for a very dangerous outbreak of severe storms including strong and possibly long-tracked tornadoes for central and southern Mississippi Tuesday afternoon and evening.
“A powerful storm system is expected to move through the mid-south region this afternoon and tonight and produce an environment favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms across central and southern Mississippi,” the NWS said.
“Tornadoes, a few of which could be strong and long-tracked, along with damaging winds of 75 mph and half dollar sized hail are possible with the most intense severe thunderstorms,” the NWS added.
Apart from the severe weather and tornado outbreak, widespread heavy rainfall is forecast across much of the state with many areas likely receiving in excess of two inches of rainfall. This could result in some flooding problems considering ground conditions are already at or near saturation from recent rains over the past week.
View slideshow: Major severe weather, tornado outbreak likely for Mississippi on Christmas Day
And if that is not enough, portions of northwestern Mississippi could actually get in on a late white Christmas as cold air surges south behind the storm system.
The NWS has issued a winter weather advisory including Coahoma, De Soto, Quitman, Tate and Tunica counties from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“Snow accumulations of one to three inches with locally higher amounts” are possible within the advisory area, the NWS said.
“A brief mixture of ice pellets with accumulations of less than a tenth of an inch will also be possible,” the NWS added.
Travel across this part of the state could become very hazardous by early Wednesday.
This storm system has the potential to produce life-threatening weather this afternoon and tonight and everyone should monitor the latest weather information and or have a means to receive severe weather warnings.
Get interesting environment and science and space news. Also, follow along with the thousands of others for periodic weather updates, news and notes on Twitter.