Central Mississippi area under tornado warnings. Here's what you need to know

The National Weather Service gives updates on good and bad options for taking shelter during a possible tornado.
The National Weather Service gives updates on good and bad options for taking shelter during a possible tornado.

The Jackson metro was under a tornado warning this morning, with a possible tornadic event in southern Hinds County. The Jackson area also remains under an enhanced risk of severe storms until noon. South Mississippi and East Mississippi could see dangerous storms until 6 p.m.

Another tornado warning

The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a Tornado warning until 2:45 p.m. Wednesday:

  • Northern Forrest County in southeastern Mississippi

  • Northeastern Lamar County in southeastern Mississippi

  • Jones County in southeastern Mississippi

“At 1:43 p.m. CST, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Hattiesburg, moving northeast at 45 mph,” the NWS said.

Rankin County chicken farm damaged

Damage from a Wednesday morning storm to a chicken farm in Rankin County is seen in this image.
Damage from a Wednesday morning storm to a chicken farm in Rankin County is seen in this image.

Jackson Public Schools cancel afterschool activities

Due to the inclement weather conditions, all Jackson Public School afterschool and extracurricular activities have been canceled for Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, officials said in a press statement.

Hattiesburg area under tornado warning

Several Mississippi counties are under tornado warnings meaning a tornado has been sighted in the area until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

  • Northern Forrest County in southeastern Mississippi

  • Southeastern Lamar County in southeastern Mississippi

"At 12:36 PM CST, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located ovdr Purvis, or 13 miles south of West Hattiesburg, moving northeast at 40 mph," according to the National Weather Service.

11 a.m.: University of Southern Mississippi to close at 1 p.m.

All University of Southern Mississippi operations and offices in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast will close at 1 p.m. today in anticipation of severe weather, which potentially could include tornadoes, hail, high winds, heavy rains and flash flooding.

The National Weather Service has placed south Mississippi, including the university’s Hattiesburg campus and all coastal operations, at an enhanced risk (3 out of 5) for severe weather.

The main timeline for the storms today is expected to begin early afternoon for the Hattiesburg area and early evening for the Gulf Coast.

University officials expect to resume regular operations Thursday.

10:15 a.m.: William Carey University to close all campuses until noon

William Carey University will close today at noon because of the severe weather threat.

University officials said the closure is in effect for both the Hattiesburg and Tradition/Biloxi campuses.

Flood watch in effect

A National Weather Service flood watch remains in effect through this afternoon with possible flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall continuing to be possible for the following portions of central Mississippi, east central Mississippi, north central Mississippi, northeast Mississippi, south central Mississippi, southeast Mississippi, southwest Mississippi and west central Mississippi and central Mississippi Attala, Choctaw, Copiah, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Leake, Madison MS, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith and Yazoo.

In east central Mississippi, Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee and Winston. In north central Mississippi, Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery and Webster. In northeast Mississippi, Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha. In south central Mississippi, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln and Marion. In southeast Mississippi, Covington, Forrest, Jones and Lamar. In southwest Mississippi, Adams, Claiborne, Franklin MS and Jefferson. In west central Mississippi, Warren.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the NWS states. “Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris.

“Heavy rain of two to four inches in less than three hours with local amounts of five to seven inches possible. http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

"Precautionary/preparedness actions… You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.”

10 a.m.: Power outages reported in several counties

Around 8,700 customers in Mississippi were without power as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to poweroutage.us. The bulk of the outages are in Issaquena and Sharkey counties, where power is out countywide.

Other counties hit by outages include Yazoo, Washington, Simpson, Smith, Jefferson and Adams.

The National Weather Service

Lance Terrilloux, a meteorologist at The National Weather Service said Wednesday morning that the chance for tornadic weather in the Jackson area had subsided.

"There are still chances of heavy rain and thunderstorms in Jackson," Terrilloux said. "Mostly, the weather is pushing north into the Meridian area at the moment. We will continue to monitor the weather as it continues throughout the day."

Come back to the Clarion Ledger for more on the severe storms.

Counties under tornado watch

Mississippi counties under a tornado watch, meaning conditions are right to produce tornadoes, until 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service:

Amite, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Wayne, Wilkinson

Hattiesburg tornado watch

  • Hattiesburg is under a tornado watch until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Petal schools to release early

  • Petal schools announced Wednesday morning that the start of the school day has been shortened due to inclement weather.

  • Petal elementary schools will release at 11 a.m. and secondary schools will dismiss at 1 p.m.

  • All after-school activities also are canceled.

“The safety of our students and staff continues to be our top priority, and we appreciate your support,” the school district states in a Tuesday post on its website. “We will continue to monitor the weather through the night. If there’s a need for any changes to tomorrow’s schedule, we will notify you via our text and email messaging system, as well as our website and social media outlets.”

Holmes County Schools

Holmes County Schools announced a delayed start due to inclement weather.

School began at 8:45 a.m.

Pearl Public Schools

Pearl Public School District has delayed the start schedule for today due to inclement weather. Classes will begin at 10 a.m.

Large tornado spotted near city of Forest

A large and potentially dangerous tornado has been confirmed on the ground near Forest at 7:44 a.m. Locals there are encouraged to take shelter. A tornado warning remains in effect until 8:30 a.m.

Tornado confirmed over Johns

At 6:34 a.m., a tornado was confirmed over Johns, about nine miles east of Star. The storm was moving northeast at 30 miles per hour. A tornado warning for Southeastern Rankin is in effect until 7:15 a.m.

Tornado warning in effect for Rankin County

A tornado warning remains in effect for South Central Rankin County until 6:15 a.m., according to the national weather service. Flying debris will be dangerous. Residents are encouraged to move to a safe place.

Madison County Schools delay start Wednesday

Due to inclement weather Wednesday morning, the Madison County Schools district announced a delayed start for schools.

  • Elementary schools will start at 9:30 a.m.

  • Middle schools at 10 a.m.

  • High schools at 10:15 a.m.

Jackson Public Schools remain open

A spokesperson for the Jackson Public Schools said that as of 6:15 a.m. Wednesday all JPS schools will be open and on regular schedule. A district spokesman added that they "are monitoring the current weather conditions. Based on the latest reports, JPS will open all schools and offices today, December 14, at normal schedules. We will keep you informed of any changes throughout the day."

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: MS weather updates: Tornado watches, warnings issued Wednesday morning