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First Alert Weather Day: Tracking the storm

Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Mid-South escaped relatively unscathed Wednesday as a strong storm system threatened severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center placed a MODERATE RISK of severe storms over most of the area. Some portions of north Mississippi are in a HIGH RISK.

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THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING: The first round of storms arrived early Wednesday as a warm front moved through. Now a cold front will continue through the area this afternoon and evening.

THREATS: Rain and storms will continue on and off with some severe, especially in north Mississippi. Damaging wind, hail and tornadoes are possible.

TONIGHT: Rain and storms should end by midnight. Lows will drop to around 50.

Be sure to download the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather App. It’s free now in the Apple or Android app stores. We’ll stream our meteorologists live if and when warnings are issued so you can keep a close eye on the weather.

Severe wx risk
Severe wx risk(SPC)

We’re tracking the storm live. See the latest warnings, damage reports, power outages and more below.

9:00 p.m. -- Tornado Watch canceled for the Mid-South as storms move out.

8:21 p.m. -- Power outage update:

  • MLGW: 9 customers without power
  • Entergy Arkansas: A few dozen customers without power across eastern Arkansas.
  • Entergy Mississippi: 449 customers without power in Tate County

7:08 p.m. -- NWS issues Tornado Watch for Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin and McNairy County until midnight.

6:37 p.m. -- NWS issued a Flash Flood Warning for Craighead, Cross and Poinsett County in Arkansas until 10:30 p.m.

5:53 p.m. -- NWS issued a Significant Weather Advisory for Poinsett, St. Francis and Cross County in Arkansas until 6:30 p.m. Very heavy rain and continuous cloud-to-ground lightning are possible with this thunderstorm.

5:14 p.m. -- WMC viewer Sue White reports flooding in Quito Estates in Millington. “A car tried to cross it and almost washed to the side of the ditch,” she said.

5:10 p.m. -- Power outage update:

  • MLGW: 2,913 customers without power
  • Entergy Arkansas: 449 customers without power in Tate County
  • Entergy Mississippi: A few dozen customers without power across eastern Arkansas.

4:43 p.m. -- NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Lafayette, Union, Marshall and Benton counties in Mississippi until 5:15. Threats include 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-size hail.

4:33 p.m. -- Old Brownsville Road in Bartlett is back open.

4:17 p.m. -- NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Lafayette County until 4:45 p.m. A severe thunderstorm was spotted over Paris 10 miles east of Water Valley moving northeast at 40 mph.

3:47 p.m. -- The City of Bartlett reports Public Works has closed Old Brownsville Road between Billy Maher and Austin Peay due to road flooding.

3:10 p.m. -- Street flooding has been reported in northern Shelby County near Millington and Shelby Forest, the industrial park near Binghampton and downtown near the Exchange building, Lauderdale and Third Street.

2:29 p.m. -- Ole Miss is closing its Oxford campus at 3 p.m. because of severe weather in the forecast.

1:58 p.m. -- NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Henderson, Hardeman, Madison, Chester and Decatur counties until 2:45 p.m. A severe thunderstorm was located near Bemis, about 7 miles south of Jackson, moving east at 55 mph.

1:54 p.m. -- NWS issued a flash flood warning for Shelby County until 5 p.m.

1:47 p.m. -- Power outage update:

  • MLGW: 435 customers
  • Entergy Arkansas: 944 customers in Phillips County and 175 in St. Francis County
  • Entergy Mississippi: 458 customers in Tate County

1:43 p.m. -- Chief Meteorologist Ron Childers gave a live update on this afternoon’s severe weather and where the threat remains.

First Alert Weather Day: 1:45 p.m. update

Meteorologist Ron Childers is live at the Digital Desk with the latest timing on this afternoon's severe weather. https://bit.ly/3bY1FT7

Posted by WMC Action News 5 on Wednesday, March 17, 2021

1:18 p.m. -- NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Tipton, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison and Chester counties until 2 p.m. Severe thunderstorms were spotted along a line extending from 9 miles east of Covington to 6 miles northwest of Somerville to near Eads moving east at 50 mph.

1:07 p.m. -- City of Memphis cancels Solid Waste collection Wednesday due to severe weather threat and ongoing tornado watch. Services will resume Thursday and be delayed by a day through Saturday.

12:58 p.m. -- NWS has issued a new tornado watch until 7 p.m. for much of the Mid-South.

12:46 p.m. -- Heavy rain and lightning are moving through downtown Memphis.

12:31 p.m. -- NWS issued a Significant Weather Advisory until 1 p.m. for parts of Mississippi, Crittenden, Tipton and Shelby County until 1 p.m. A strong thunderstorm with winds more than 30 MPH was spotted near Meeman Shelby Forest State Park moving east at 35 mph.

12:25 p.m. -- NWS issued a Significant Weather Advisory until 1 p.m. for parts of St. Francis, Lee, Crittenden, Tunica, DeSoto and Shelby counties. Strong thunderstorms producing winds more than 30 mph were located along a line extending from near Jerico to Anthonyville moving east at 55 mph.

11:45 a.m. -- Meteorologist Sagay Galindo gave a live update from the Digital Desk about the next round of storms.

First Alert Weather Day: 11:45 a.m. update

Meteorologist Sagay Galindo is live at the Digital Desk with an update on today's storms. https://bit.ly/3qWistU

Posted by WMC Action News 5 on Wednesday, March 17, 2021

11:38 a.m. -- NWS issued a flash flood warning for Shelby and Tipton counties in Tennessee until 2:45 p.m.

10:54 a.m. -- MLGW reports 2,913 customers without Bartlett. According to the outage map, many of the outages are in the Bartlett and Cordova areas.

9:17 a.m. -- A WMC Action News 5 crew found a three-car crash on eastbound 385 just before Riverdale Road. Roads are wet and may be slick so drive slow and stay alert.

9:09 a.m. -- Entergy Mississippi reports 297 customers without power in Coahoma County, 135 in DeSoto County and 195 in Tate County.

8:40 a.m. -- Meteorologist Brittney Bryant gave a live update from the Digital Desk about this morning’s storms and what we expect the rest of the day.

7:30 a.m. -- Power outages: Entergy Mississippi reports 512 customers without power in Coahoma County, 143 in Tate County, 16 in DeSoto County and 18 in Quitman County. Entergy Arkansas reports 944 customers without power in Phillips County and 175 in St. Francis Count. MLGW reports less than 100 customers without power in Memphis.

7:28 a.m. -- Meteorologist Spencer Denton says the highest risk for tornadoes this morning is from Oxford to the south.

7:12 a.m. -- NWS issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for western Lafayette, northern Yalobusha, southwestern Marshall, southeastern Marshall, southeastern Tate, northeastern Tallahatchie, eastern Quitman and Panola counties until 8 a.m. A severe thunderstorm was spotted near Curtis Station, about 7 miles west of Batesville, moving east at 50 mph.

6:49 a.m. -- NWS issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for northwest Marshall County in Mississippi and southwest Fayette County in Tennessee until 7:15 a.m. A severe thunderstorm was spotted near Red Banks, about 11 miles northwest of Holly Springs.

6:35 a.m. -- NWS issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for eastern Phillips County in Arkansas and Coahoma County, southern Tunica County, northern Tallahatchie County, Quitman County and western Panola County in Mississippi until 7:15 a.m. A severe thunderstorm was spotted near Clarksdale moving east at 50 mph.

6:05 a.m. -- NWS issued a Tornado Warning for northeastern Bolivar County in Mississippi until 6:45 a.m. A severe thunderstorm was spotted near Trusten Holder WMA, about 9 miles northwest of Rosedale moving east at 40 mph.

5:51 a.m. -- National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee until 1 p.m.

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