PEARL – The months of March, April and May bring the greatest threat of severe weather to Mississippi. Therefore Gov. Phil Bryant has declared Feb. 20-24, 2017 as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
National Weather Service records show there have been 821 confirmed tornadoes, 247 wind reports of 75 mph or greater and 2,321 reports of large hail in Mississippi in the spring months since 1950.
A look at the statistics since 1950:
- 236 tornadoes, 85 wind reports of 75 mph or greater and 1,012 hail reports in March.
- 375 tornadoes, 92 wind reports of 75 mph or greater and 677 hail reports in April.
- 210 tornadoes, 70 wind reports of 75 mph or greater and 632 hail reports in May.
“Springtime in Mississippi is beautiful, but can also be extremely dangerous from severe weather as the season changes,” said Gov. Bryant. “It is so important for all Mississippians to have a good preparedness plan in place before severe weather threatens.”
“We ask everyone to do three things: know how to get alerts, have a plan and be prepared to take action,” said MEMA Director Lee Smithson. “It all starts with getting warnings, whether through social media, mobile phone apps, NOAA weather radios or local media broadcasts.”
The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill.
“The state of Mississippi experiences very active severe weather episodes throughout the year, and due to our geographic location the potential for deadly weather could impact the state on any given day. So we proudly join the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency this week in a special highlight to prepare the citizens we serve for the potentially dangerous storms that will be lurking this spring,” said Bill Parker, Meteorologist-In-Charge, NWS Jackson, Miss.
MEMA and the NWS will focus on specific types of severe weather each day of the week on social media and websites. The outline is as follows:
- Monday, Feb. 20: Severe Thunderstorms
- Tuesday, Feb. 21: Flash Flooding
- Wednesday, Feb. 22: Tornadoes, statewide tornado drill at 9:15 a.m. (weather permitting)
- Thursday, Feb. 23: Lightning
- Friday, Feb. 24: Alerts and Warnings
Local weather information and alerts are available through the NWS online at the following websites:
- Northern Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/meg.
- Central Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/jan.
- Southeastern Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/mob
- Coastal and southwestern Mississippi counties: www.weather.gov/lix.
There are several ways to receive severe weather warnings, like a NOAA weather radio, or one of several applications on mobile devices. A number of free mobile applications are available for download on smart phones, which can alert you when a watch or warning is issued for your area.
For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency, or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA and the National Weather Service on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter.