Laura’s still upset after rolling onto shore near the Louisiana-Texas border as a deadly Category 4 hurricane early Thursday morning.
Now a tropical storm, the system is expected to produce heavy rain, strong thunderstorms, damaging winds and a possible tornado threat as it passes through the Crossroads area Friday into early Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for most of North Mississippi including Alcorn, Tishomingo, Prentiss and Tate counties. The watch extends north into West Tennessee to include the counties of McNairy and Hardin.
According to the NWS, rain bands from Laura will likely cause flash flooding throughout the area, dumping 3 to 6 inches of rain. This elevated threat category means some roads may be flooded or closed and some structures could be threatened with inundation. Straight line winds are also expected to be sustained between 20 and 30 mph with gusts over 35 mph as the storm system blows through.
While the rainfall is a welcome sign for local farmers, the strong winds may cause trees to fall said MSU Extension Agent Patrick Poindexter.
“Even with the heavy rains earlier this week, Alcorn County is still well below our yearly average. The year has been extremely dry, so the possible tropical rain will be a good thing for our crops,” Poindexter told the Daily Corinthian. “But we still need to watch the storm as it comes through – just like the storm last October, we just never know when the weather is going to take a turn for the worst.”
Poindexter said if the area sees the high winds as forecasted, uprooted trees and downed limbs will be an issue.
“We just need to keep our eye on the sky over the next 24 or so hours,” he added.
Even after Laura moves out rain chances continue into next week.
Friday and Friday night sees a 90 percent chance of heavy rain and breezy conditions according to the forecast.
Precipitation chances hover between the 40 to 70 percent through Monday with daytime highs in the mid to high 80s and overnight lows in the low 70s.