SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A Tornado Watch continues for portions of Mississippi, including Pearl River County, into Thursday evening.
Conditions are favorable for a few tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.
The severe threats we’ll be watching for in coastal Mississippi later Thursday into early Friday will mainly be flash flooding.
Other lesser threats for us later Thursday into early Friday include straight-line wind damage and isolated tornadoes. These impacts are possible, but not likely, in South Mississippi.
Storm damage has been reported across central Mississippi on Thursday. This is due to a strong line of thunderstorms moving eastward through the state.
This squall line is projected to slow down as it approaches coastal Mississippi. This will lead to an unusually long time-frame in which we are near or beneath the storms.
Our threat for severe, damaging, weather may begin as early as this afternoon or as late as tonight.
There is a possibility that the slow movement of the storm could lead to a decrease in storm intensity later Thursday.
“As the storm slows down, all of the pouring rain beneath it is cooling the air and possibly cutting off the system’s source of storm fuel: heat,” said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams. "Downward air currents in the storm clouds, called downdrafts, may cause the pooling of cooler air at the surface beneath the slowing squall line, perhaps weakening it after sunset."
“Whether the storm line weakens or not will determine if we see the tornado watch extended in time and expanded eastward later tonight,” Williams said.
If the squall line doesn’t completely stall, it should finally be to our east by Friday midday with perhaps some quieter weather for a brief moment before more showers arrive this weekend and early next week.