The Storm Prediction Center has placed the entire state under the risk for experiencing severe storms with an enhanced moderate risk much of northern Mississippi including the Delta through early Wednesday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson said model data continues to indicate a high-end severe weather event area-wide including widespread damaging winds, possibly in excess of 80 mph and tornadoes, some of which could be strong and long-tracked.
The NWS says all areas along and north of Highway 82 are most at risk for experiencing the most intense storms overnight and into early Wednesday.
An unusually warm and moist airmass has settled in place over the last two days over the region. This airmass has aided in pushing temperatures some 15 to more than 20 degrees above normals for daytime highs and nighttime lows.
Daytime temperatures in Jackson have reached as high as 74 degrees and have remained as warm as 59 degrees for overnight lows. Normal temperatures in the capital city this time of year are around 57 and 36, respectively.
Being that this is the heart of winter, such unusual warmth, often leads to such outbreaks, when combined with high shear and sufficient instability ahead of a strong cold front, which are all in place.
The main risk and threat for severe storms is expected to come from a squall-line of intense storms ahead of the cold front. However, more isolated intense storms could develop out ahead of the main line, which would pose a more dangerous risk for strong tornadoes.
The main timing for severe storms to cross the state is between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday.
This appears to be the first major severe weather event of this year and everyone should stay updated on the latest weather information as it becomes available and be prepared to seek shelter immediately in case your area is threatened.
The month of January is not typically a very active month for tornadoes in Mississippi with an average of two to three each year.
However, two tornadoes have already been confirmed and more are possible with this upcoming severe weather event. Last January (2012), five tornadoes hit the state.