Severe weather is expected to hit Memphis this evening, lasting through the night and into tomorrow.
The primary risk is damaging winds, according to the Memphis National Weather Service (NWS). Other concerns are large hail and flooding.
The greatest risk is along the Mississippi River today, with the risk moving further east on Thursday, Jim Branda, forecaster for the Memphis NWS, said.
There is a wind advisory in place for Memphis and surrounding areas until midnight Wednesday, but Branda anticipates damaging winds throughout Wednesday. Branda said wind gusts could reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. The winds will be strong enough to bring down trees and power lines, resulting in power outages, Branda adds.
The NWS encourages residents to secure loose items, as well as watch for fallen trees and power lines. It also warns that high-profile vehicles might be difficult to drive in strong winds.
The NWS puts storms into five categories based on the severity of risks. Most of Memphis is in the Slight risk — or second lowest — as of Wednesday at 10:28 a.m.
This means Memphians can expect “short-lived and/or not widespread isolated intense storms.” This is down from the Enhanced risk category Memphis was in early this morning. Enhanced risk, the third level, would have meant “more persistent and/or widespread intense storms.”
Memphis Light, Gas and Water said Wednesday that the utility is on standby to handle any power outages that may occur.