Update: Pine Belt severe weather risk downgraded to moderate/slight

By Nick Ortego - bio | email

Update- Saturday 12:30pm The high risk that was sitting over parts of the Pine Belt has slightly shifted to the northeast leaving much of the WDAM view area in a moderate/slight risk.  Despite a fairly quite radar at this time, it is still possible that more storms may generate in the coming hours.  Officially, we are under a Tornado watch until 8:00pm tonight.

Update: Saturday 4:50am: The storm prediction center has placed part of the Pine Belt under a rare "high risk" for severe weather.  As our graphics indicate, this high risk covers the northern half of the viewing region all the way up to north Mississippi.  Typically a moderate risk from the SPC is a rather grim forecast for severe weather... High risk are usually only issued a couple times a year across the entire United States.

We are continuing to monitor the situation in the 7 on Your Side Weather Center.  If a dangerous situation becomes imminent, we are prepared to cut into regular programming.  Meanwhile, we have our Titan Radar and Weather office web cam up and running.  We also continue to update our weather web page and twitter feeds through out the day.

Thanks for trusting WDAM to bring you this potential severe weather coverage.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As of Friday at 3 p.m. zones just to the northwest of the Pine Belt were getting hit much harder than the WDAM viewing area.

We have many reports of hail around the greater Jackson region, which is no surprise.

Meanwhile, we need to continue to have our guard up as we roll through out the rest of Friday evening and especially throughout Saturday.

Through the rest of Friday, I'd expect scattered storms to track across parts of the Pine Belt. Some of these storms may be strong at times. Isolated heavy rain may be accompanied by strong winds and small hail. Furthermore, we are under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Friday evening. With that said, Saturday still remains the day that brings me most concern.

On Saturday, our window for severe weather is from 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. The storm prediction center has placed the majority of the Pine Belt under a moderate risk for severe storms. This typically only happens to the Pine Belt once or twice a year. Storms on Saturday have the potential to be more dangerous then any weather system we have seen in a few years. Worst case scenarios include possible long-track tornadoes, flash flooding, and hail the size of golf balls.

Thanks for trusting the 7 on your Side Weather Center in covering this event. Don't forget we have many tools on our website to help you track storms with us. I encourage you to try out our radar on your mobile phone at www.wdamtogo.com.

Also keep up with Rex and myself on twitter.


-Nick Ortego