The National Weather Service confirmed tornado sightings in Hancock County and Harrison County on Wednesday, but no damage was reported from the mid-day storms that rushed through South Mississippi.
At 11:22 a.m., the weather service in New Orleans was notified by the Hancock County Emergency Management of a tornado in Shoreline Park near Waveland. Shortly afterward, tornado warnings were issued for less than an hour for coastal areas of the two counties as a line of storms moved through.
Hancock County Emergency Management Director Brian Adam said Wednesday afternoon no damage had been reported in the Shoreline Park area, or where a tornado was spotted by Waveland police officers near Longfellow Road. Adam said he checked both locations and there was no damage.
At 11:35 a.m., the weather service confirmed another tornado sighting in Long Beach north of 28th Street, but again, no damage reported. A funnel cloud also was spotted near the roundabout at Three Rivers Road near the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, according to Harrison County emergency manager Rupert Lacy.
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“We had some traffic lights blown down in Biloxi during the time the system was coming in,” Lacy said. “We had first responders reporting rotations in the clouds, but we never had any confirmed touchdowns in any location.”
The intersection at Pass Road and Veterans Avenue will be a four-way stop for an extended period while repairs are made to traffic lights damaged by a crash.
Lacy said South Mississippians should remember that summer brings the tropical systems and anyone headed to the beach should always check the weather.
“We had a cluster of thunderstorms build up and come in,” he said. “That’s two in last two weeks.
“This is the summer and we do have tropical systems. People just need to keep an eye out.”
Pop-up thunderstorms are common during this time of year, the Sun Herald has previously reported. The storms form so quickly that weather-prediction models aren’t able to accurately predict them, and there is little to no warning of potentially severe weather.
Rain storms are possible through Saturday, the weather service predicts, but the rest of the Fourth of July holiday weekend should be rain-free.