Mississippi Ranked 7th in Natural Disasters

Jackson–Kiplinger.com says Mississippi is 7th on a list of ten for the likelihood of natural disasters. Steve Wilkinson from National Weather Service tells News Mississippi why the Magnolia state ranked so high.

Seventh on the list and every neighboring state is included on the list. The likelihood of natural disasters in Mississippi is quite high as the climate and location aid in the formation of severe and sometimes devastating storms.

“We’re in the tornado belt,” says National Weather Service Alert Manager Steve Wilkinson, “we’re also along the Gulf Coast which has hurricanes.”

The Kiplinger.com article studies 2006 to 2013, but Wilkinson brought up Mississippi’s weather disasters since 2011, naming tornados through Yazoo, Hattiesburg, Louisville as well as Hurricane Isaac and the flooding of the Mississippi river.

“The river was flooded the highest it’s been since the 1920’s,” says Wilkinson.

Even though these occurrences are not preventable, they are predictable. Wilkinson recalls preparing MEMA for the Mississippi River flood nearly a week before the waters rose.

“We’ve been able to predict tornado events five days in advance,” says Wilkinson,”the forecast isn’t perfect, but we have numbers to help us predict what is going to happen and when.”

Hurricanes are often spotted up to a week in advance so that preparation can begin. With tornadoes, the weather conditions can be predicted but not where the tornado will occur.