Twisters land Jackson on Weather Channel list - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Twisters land Jackson on Weather Channel list

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Jackson and the areas within 75 miles of the city ranked second in The Weather Channel's list of "Top 10 Tornado Cities." Jackson and the areas within 75 miles of the city ranked second in The Weather Channel's list of "Top 10 Tornado Cities."
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson and the areas within 75 miles of the city ranked second in The Weather Channel's list of "Top 10 Tornado Cities."

It's no surprise to forecasters because the conditions are frequently favorable for twisters.

"We're so close to the Gulf of Mexico, able to get a lot of moisture drawn up and the systems are able to come through through a good portion of the year," said Jared Allen with the National Weather Service Jackson.

You may think of "Tornado Alley" as the magnet for violent outbreaks. But the Weather Channel's study considered not only the number of tornadoes, but also the track length and path width.

"Dixie Alley, here in Mississippi and Alabama, [is] certainly more prone to tornadoes, such as that. So we're definitely in a heightened area across the Southeast," explained Allen.

While that doesn't change the way agencies like Mississippi Emergency Management prepare, they are aware of the risks.

"It just happens that the bulls eye on that is central Mississippi," said MEMA Director Robert Latham.

Latham points to the last few years and the devastation central Mississippi has seen in the wake of tornadoes.

"I was telling someone the other day, we don't have any normal weather anymore. Every weather event seems to be violent," Latham said.

New technology like the dual-polarization radar allows the National Weather Service to identify more specific layers within a storm system, including the presence of debris. Still, warnings and emergency alerts are common for the area.

"There's a danger that the more you know, the more complacent citizens get and that's the challenge for us. How do we keep it relevant and important so we continue to get people better prepared so when something does happen that they know the things they need to do," described Latham.

Smith County, located just 75 miles outside of Jackson, is the most tornado-prone area in the nation.

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