The University of Southern Mississippi announced that it has suspended all operations on both of its campuses for Tuesday, March 22, due to forecasted severe weather.
The suspension means that all classes will not meet in person or online Tuesday. However, the online University Forum event is still planned to be held online.
The National Weather Service has placed South Mississippi at an enhanced (3 out of 5) to moderate risk (4 out of 5) for severe weather Tuesday.
Forecasts predict severe weather for the USM campus and Pine Belt area, including chances of gusts of up to 70 miles per hour, golf ball-sized hail, and the possibility of tornadoes.
The main threat of severe weather will be from late morning (10-11 a.m.) through 8 p.m.
The Weather Channel has forecasted Hattiesburg on a seven of ten on its TORCON (Tornado Condition Index) for severe weather.
As USM endures prime tornado time in the spring, especially early spring in the South, the university encourages students to check their contact information in the Eagle Alert system to be notified in case of weather alerts.
You can also follow Mississippi’s National Weather Service offices for weather updates and storm preparedness tips:
In case of a tornado warning in the area, go to the lowest floor possible in a building and avoid rooms with windows.
To add protection from debris, cover yourself with a blanket or mattress.
To read more about tornado preparedness, visit https://emergency.usm.edu/tornado-preparedness/
There are also potential flood zones on USM campuses that students, faculty and visitors are advised to avoid during heavy rain.