The potential for very heavy rainfall across parts of the state late Friday night into Saturday has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Watch for Northern Mississippi.
The Flash Flood Watch covers 22 out of 82 counties from late Friday evening through Saturday evening and includes the towns and cities of Tupelo, Southaven, Ashland, Pontotoc, Holly Springs, Corinth, Oxford, Clarksdale, Tunica, Aberdeen and Batesville.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to increase across the area as a cold front shifts east into the state through Friday afternoon into Friday night, with the rainfall becoming heavy at times by Saturday morning before tampering off during the late afternoon and evening on Saturday with the passage of the frontal boundary.
Total rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches are expected with isolated higher amounts in areas where thunderstorms move repeatedly across the same areas.
A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.
Flash Flood Watch Counties:
Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Coahoma, DeSoto, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Monroe, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Yalobusha
Significant rainfall is expected statewide
Although a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Northern Mississippi, significant rainfall amounts are expected statewide.
Widespread rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches area expected across Central and Southern Mississippi, including in the Jackson metro area, which could also cause some localized flooding.
According to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, the heaviest rainfall is expected to organize across the eastern half of the state, east of Interstate 55, where they expect widespread rainfall amounts of two inches or more.
Stronger storms possible south
While this is more of a heavy rain event, a few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible along the Gulf Coast including in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula.
Dewpoints in the 60s, indicating higher moisture, combined with modest low level shear will be enough to possibly produce isolated tornadoes and damaging winds within stronger storms on Saturday.
Everyone is advised to monitor the latest weather information as it becomes available as we are in the primary severe weather season, which runs from March through early May.