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Halloween storms could be full of "tricks"

Thursday's Risk area and Threat Levels
Thursday's Risk area and Threat Levels
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Updated: 10/29/2013 11:17 pm
Showers and thunderstorms are likely to impact trick or treating festivities on Thursday, and could be strong to severe. I encourage you to share this discussion with your friends/family, especially because we are coming off of the severe-weather "off season."

Timing:
Thunderstorms will move into North Mississippi during the afternoon of Thursday. Thunderstorms will linger past nightfall, and perhaps past midnight, especially for West Alabama. 

Impacts:
Brief heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts are the primary impacts. The tornado threat remains low, but nonzero. It would not be shocking to see severe thunderstorm watch boxes or tornado watch boxes issued Thursday afternoon/evening for part of the WTVA viewing area. Tornado touchdowns, though, remain a low probability. 

Discussion:
A large upper-level disturbance will move over the central and southeastern United States on Thursday. This disturbance will break out showers and thunderstorms on Thursday, perhaps before noon time, and throughout the afternoon and evening. Moisture will be the limiting factor, keeping this from becoming an outbreak of severe weather. Though it will be unseasonably humid and warm leading up to thunderstorm development on Wednesday/Thursday, the extreme moisture will stay locked closer to the Gulf Coast, preventing a more substantial outbreak of severe weather and limiting the likelihood of tornadoes. Still, because of strong winds aloft, related to the jet stream, there is enough "shear" to produce some rotating thunderstorms. Thus, the tornado potential remains low, but nonzero.

Regardless of the threat level, this is tornado preparedness week in Mississippi, so now is as good a time as any to review your tornado safety preparations. You should know where to go within your home if a tornado warning is issued (lowest floor or basement, centrally located room, not on exterior walls, bring blankets and pillows to wrap up inside, get under something sturdy). If you need a more reliable warning system, check out WTVA's WeatherCall at http://www.wtva.com/WeatherCall.

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