TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- From WTVA Chief Meteorologist Matt Laubhan:
We anticipate the development of severe storms Saturday, primarily in the afternoon and evening. Please share this discussion with your family/friends, especially those planning on travelling this holiday weekend.
A strong, late-fall storm system will trigger showers and severe thunderstorms Saturday into the early hours of Sunday morning.
While heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts will be the main severe weather threats, isolated tornadoes, a few that could possibly be strong, are possible.
The primary risk for severe weather will be after 2pm Saturday through early Sunday morning.
Near record-setting temperatures on Saturday will combine with a strong upper level system to trigger showers and thunderstorms that will possibly become severe. It is likely that showers and thunderstorms will be ongoing at daybreak Saturday, especially in North and West Mississippi, but this early round of thunderstorms will be substantially weaker than what occurs later in the day.
By afternoon, temperatures will increase into the lower to middle 70s. At the same time, rich moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will arrive in the West Mississippi Delta. This is one of the biggest questions: how much moisture, how warm to temperatures get. Slightly cooler temperatures, or more marginal moisture, and severe risk is greatly reduced. Regardless, it looks likely that this combination, pared with a strong upper level system, will start popping showers and thunderstorms as early as 1-2 PM. These initial thunderstorms, if/when they form, will have an enhanced likelihood to produce rotation and possibly tornadoes. As the afternoon changes to evening, these storms will become more of a "squall line" and pack a strong wind and isolated tornado threat as they move from west to east through the viewing area. One or possibly two of these squall lines will bring heavy rainfall, strong wind gusts, and possibly a few tornadoes as they track into Alabama early Sunday morning.
I highly encourage you to sign up for WTVA's WeatherCall. It does cost $9.95 per year, but it will call you if you are in the specific tornado or severe thunderstorm warning area. It's like a personalized tornado siren and works for both land and cell lines. Check it out athttp://www.wtva.com/content/weather/weathercall/default.aspx.
For list of shelters in your area check out this link at WTVA.com:http://www.wtva.com/news/local/story/List-of-storm-shelters-in-northeast-MS-and/BeyTdE6ka06MWm3V0cRtbA.cspx
We will have more updates on air at Noon, 5/6/10pm on WTVA News Today.