The weather: ‘Everybody is going to get something’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A vast, slow-moving cold front is forecast to keep Vicksburg wet for the remainder of the workweek, beginning this afternoon, and meteorologists warn the system may produce severe weather including flash flooding, hail and straight-line winds.

“There’s a lot of variability in this system, but everybody is going to get something,” said Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Jackson. “We should start to see rainfall increasing in Vicksburg beginning today and through this evening. Some of it looks very heavy.”

Vicksburg is to receive 3 to 5 inches of rain through Saturday morning, Pope said. The chance for rain this evening is 50 percent, and it increases to 70 percent by Wednesday afternoon and a 90 percent overnight Wednesday.

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“Our greatest chance for the heaviest rains looks to be late Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, and we’re not in the clear after that,” said Pope. “The front is going to stall south of I-20, and it won’t move out until Saturday morning. There’s a chance we could see some severe weather and heavy rains on Friday, too.”

The isolated storm cells have the potential to produce tornadoes over the three-state Delta area in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, said Pope, which may include Vicksburg or areas just north of the city.

“We’ll have that risk, really, through the entire week. There are going to be some significant bands of storms moving through in isolated areas, and the possibility exists for some super-cell thunderstorms which can bring hail and tornadic activity or straight-line winds,” said Pope.

The City of Vicksburg is encouraging residents to sign up for its new emergency alert system in advance of potentially severe weather. The CodeRED emergency notification system automatically calls residents on their home or mobile phones when an emergency situation arises in their neighborhood.

City officials spent $15,000 on the technology in December. Residents can sign up for the free service online at or by calling the city action line at 601-801-3411.

Once the cold front moves through Saturday morning, Pope said daytime high temperatures are forecast to remain in the low- to mid-60s through the weekend and dip into the low 40s overnights.


Contact Steve Sanoski at