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Residents should brace for yet another round of severe weather

For the third time in less than a month, Warren County residents find themselves facing the potential of severe weekend weather.

Meteorologist David Cox with the National Weather Service office in Jackson said a strong cold front is expected to move into the area Friday night through Saturday.

“As that moves in, there may be a pretty significant line of thunderstorms and potentially some thunderstorms out ahead of that that could produce severe weather,” he said, adding the severe weather could include the possibility for tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.

The majority of the predicted severe weather, Cox said, is expected to be associated with the line of storms accompanying the cold front as it moves through the area.

According to the National Weather Service website, the preliminary forecast for the system puts Central Mississippi, from Warren County through Meridian to the Alabama state line under the enhanced risk category for severe weather.

“It (the storms) may be a pretty significant line, and for the Vicksburg area specifically, it may be around daybreak Saturday (when the line hits),” Cox said.

He said temperatures behind the system will be cooler, with Saturday lows of 60 degrees dropping into the 40s Sunday morning.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said area residents need to have a way of keeping up with warnings.

“We’re looking at a 50 percent chance we could see severe weather in the overnight hour, which is the most dangerous,” he said. “People need to have a way to be alerted. Code Red will not call them unless they’re in the path of the storm or there is a warning.

“They need a weather radio, they need a phone app; more than one way to get an alert, and it needs to be where they can be woke up.”

The area has been a target of several severe storms since mid-December.

On Dec. 16, a line of storms hit Mississippi with severe thunderstorms and spawned several tornadoes, with one causing damage in Edwards, east of the Warren County/Hinds County line.

Two weeks later, severe weather was forecast for the area as another cold front was anticipated to cross the area.

Cox said weather conditions are pointing to the potential for above-normal storm activity for January.

“We have had a little bit of an active winter,” he said. “We’ve had a good amount of rain and haven’t been able to cool off as much as we typically would get.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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