The weather is going to play a major role in Halloween plans across much of Mississippi. Residents are being advised to be prepared for the potential for flash flooding and the threat for severe storms.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood watch for much of central Mississippi including the entire Jackson metro area on Thursday.
The flood watch covers 34 counties along and northwest of the Natchez Trace Parkway and along and south of Highway 82. This includes Adams, Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Choctaw, Claiborne, Clay, Copiah, Franklin, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leake, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Warren, Washington, Webster, Winston and Yazoo.
"Heavy rainfall will spread gradually east through the watch area starting as early as Thursday morning. Widespread rainfall totals ranging from one to three inches are anticipated with locally higher amounts possible, especially northwest of the Natchez trace corridor, the NWS said.
"Much of the rainfall for specific locations could come within a few hours time, which will likely lead to at least scattered incidents of flash flooding. Low lying locations and those spots near small creeks and streams will be most prone to experience flooding issues," the NWS added.
In addition to the threat for excessive rainfall and flooding, severe storms are also possible with damaging winds up to 60 mph as the primary concern. The Storm Prediction Center placed the entire state under the risk for severe storms Thursday afternoon and evening.
A strong cold front will be moving into a unusually warm and moist airmass in place across the region. This boundary will provide the ample lift along with the strong upper level shear to produce the heavy rainfall and possible severe storms including isolated tornadoes.
The potential for severe storms are coming just a day ahead of the official start of the Fall severe weather season, which begins on Friday, Nov. 1. The month of November is historically the third most active month for tornadoes in Mississippi.
Everyone is advised to stay updated on the latest weather information as it becomes available and to have a plan in place in case your area is either threatened by flash flooding or severe storms.