MERIDIAN, Miss. – Another severe weather outbreak is sweeping through much of the South this week — their fourth outbreak in as many weeks, leading anxious residents once again casting a wary eye on the skies.
An overlay of the Wednesday’s daunting severe weather risk outlook by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center matched with the number of tornado reports and Tornado Warnings already received this year illustrating the issue.
There have already been about 25 earlier tornado reports this year inside the area of greatest risk for Wednesday.
The area of greatest risk stretches into Mississippi which is likely not a surprise to those who live there.
No place has had to defend against tornados as much as Mississippi this year. There have already been 87 tornado reports in the state — more than Texas despite being 1/6th the size — and accounting for nearly 20% of all tornado reports in the nation in 2022. Put another way, about 1 in every 5 tornadoes in the US have occurred in Mississippi.
The area of Meridian, Mississippi has been particularly hit hard, getting the dubious distinction of suffering the most Tornado Warnings in 2022 — particularly the area where Interstates 20 and 59 intersect, according to research by FOX Weather Data Specialist Shane Brown.
Meridian has been under 27 separate Tornado Warnings in 2022to go along with 173 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and 88 Flood Warnings.
By actual tornado reports, Jackson joins Meridian as an area that has been hit particularly hard.
“We heard the thundering and stuff, and my 6-year-old grandson was in the kitchen, and I just heard a big boom,” Eunessa Hampton told FOX Weather as a tornado tore across her neighborhood on March 30. “I immediately ran with him as he was screaming into the closet for shelter. After everything kind of calmed down and I came out, that’s when I realized the tree had actually fallen into the house. It pushed in two walls… the center fell in in the kitchen; water is everywhere.”
But hearing tornado sirens or the emergency alerts for Tornado Warnings have been common across the South this year:
It’s prompted the National Weather Service office in Birmingham to plead for mercy.
Showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast through the end of the week and even into early next week though severe weather potential looks more limited. But long range forecasts suggest drier, calmer weather as we get later into next week.
That region can only hope it finally holds for a while.
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