Since 1950, November has had more than 220 tornadoes in the state of Mississippi.
The month is second only to April, which has produced 341 tornadoes in Mississippi between 1950 and 2011, according to data published by the National Weather Service sourced from studies conducted by the National Climatic Data Center.
Ben Schott, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service for areas including northern Mississippi, said he believes that history indicates Mississippians need to prepare for severe weather.
“Weather history and statistics say that we will see severe weather sometime this fall or early winter,” Schott said.
“November starts a secondary season of severe weather typically across the South and the Midsouth.
“Now is the time to prepare, have a small kit of food, water, money, any medicines you may need just in case power may be out.”
Stephen Wilkinson, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jackson, agreed, observing the problem with severe weather to be an ill-prepared public.
“Many of these tornadoes occur at night; in fact a large percentage of them occur at night, and that is the time of day when a population is least prepared,” Wilkinson said. “A tornado could occur and people would not know it will happen until it happens.”
Tornado sirens are located throughout The University of Mississippi campus and are regularly tested.
Daniel O’Sullivan, senior fellow at the Residential College South and associate professor of French, advised students at the residential college in an email sent earlier this year how to respond to a tornado.
“In particular, please know that when a tornado siren sounds, you should seek shelter immediately in the nearest building if you are outside,” O’Sullivan stated. “Go to an interior room and stay away from windows. Bathrooms that are surrounded by pipes and other strong infrastructure are best.”
Each residence hall on campus has a severe weather plan that students should make themselves aware of.