Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GPS-God's Positioning System

I travel alot speaking to churches, various groups, conferences and seminars. Last Fall, I was in the small town of Durant at Holmes Community College and got lost coming home (for those of you from Mississippi, you know this is almost impossible since Durant is tiny). So after I explained to my husband why I was late getting home, all he could do was laugh. He actually thought it was funny that I got lost leaving Durant! So, he bought me a Tom-Tom GPS for my car and told me, "Just listen and follow the directions."

I can type in my ending destination and a nice female voice the GPS says, "calculating route". If I pass my exit it will say, "turn around". If I go the wrong way, it was say "re-calculating". When I get to the location I've typed in it says, "You have reached your destination." It's nice knowing that little computer knows exactly where I am no matter where I travel, even though I may be as lost as a goose!

God knew you and me before we were born and His plan for us has never changed. Lamentations 3:58 says, "O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life." When we get off course, God re-calculates us in order to bring us back to His plan and purpose. His destination for us doesn't change. He is constantly working in us to bring us into His perfect will.

Isn't it nice to know that even though we may not know where we are headed in each situation, God does? And one day, He will look you in the eyes and you'll know that you have reached your destination.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Now What?

It has been 9 years since I arrived at WLBT. I had been at WAPT doing the morning weather and felt within my spirit that something wasn't right. I woke up in the middle of the night (which usually means something!) and I heard that still, small voice whisper "Leave...Quit". And so I did. After I came home after I had resigned and no longer had a job, I cried to the Lord "Now what?!"

Ever thought that God was telling you to do something or to go somewhere, you show up and then you ask God, "Now what?" In reading about Moses leading the children of Israel, he asked the same question of God. Exodus 33:12-14 tells the story: "Moses said to the Lord, See, you say to me, Bring up this people, but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You said, I know you by name and you have also found favor in My sight. Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find favor in Your sight. And Lord, do consider that this nation is Your people. And the Lord said, "My Presence shall go with you and I will give you rest."

What was true for Moses is true for us. As much as we would like to know what God has planned for us, all we really need to know is that His presence will be with us wherever He sends us and whatever He has us do.

Moses had a gigantic job on his hands, so it was only natural that he was concerned about the job that lay ahead of him. But all Moses needed was the knowledge and assurance God would go with him and help him. That is all we need to know too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have Mercy!

I am in the middle of reading the book The Shack. It is one of those books that you can't put down. I have been staying awake until midnight reading it for the last few nights and even then, I want to keep reading! God is speaking so clearly to me through this book, but in one area in particular: His incredible, unmeasurable, beyond any comprehension, deep and abiding love for you and me. With His love comes His almost unrealistic mercy for us.

In our culture, we seem to demand restitution or punishment from those who offend or harm us. But this is not the attitude we see in Jesus, whose life was a continuous manifestation of the mercy of God.

The Pharisees wanted to stone the woman who was caught in adultery, but Jesus, in mercy, pardoned her. When He saw the multitudes, compassions moved Him to heal them, feed them and teach them.

If you had seen Jesus, you had seen the Father. And God always acts in mercy, because He is merciful. Even when Jesus hung on the cross, listening to the jeers from the crowd, cried out in mercy, "Father, forgive them." How important is for us to see this? Because Matthew 5:7 says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

So unless we are merciful, we will not receive mercy. And if we are going to be merciful, we must forgive others because mercy meets the need of forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness are like conjoined twins with one heart...they can't be separated.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Devil Made Me Do It!

My children have learned how to blame each other for their choices. Just the other day, I walked into the kitchen to the sounds of Gracie and Will pounding their forks and spoons on the glass table. Boy, were they having fun! They were chanting a little tune in unison and hitting their cutlery at the same time. I got onto Will first, only because he looked like he was having the most fun. "Gracie made me do it!" he said. Then I asked him the age old question that most parents ask their kids, only because our parents asked us first: "If Gracie jumped off the Tallahatchie River Bridge, would you?" (I know most of you have heard it with the 'Brooklyn Bridge' inserted, but since I'm from the delta, we used geographic locations we could relate to.)

Satan's primary objective is to get us into sin. His target is our mind, or as the Bible often refers to is, our heart. Sin doesn't originate in our actions; it begins in our mind. This is why Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:23, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

What happens when ungodly thoughts go unchecked? A thought can become an action. If repeated enough, that action becomes a habit. Eventually it can become a stronghold, a base of oppression for the enemy.

Satan wants to ensnare Christians because when God's children are caught in sin, God has to discipline us and we often blame God for our problems. A child of God who is involved in sin is not ready to be used by God. 2 Timothy 2:21-22 says, "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."

In your present state, are you useful to the Master?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time Away

Barbie is taking a few days off and will return this Thursday. Feel free to visit previous blog entries and comment!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Viewer Emails & Comments

Several of you emailed me regarding my blog entry on Weds "Your Hair is Too Poofy". You gave me suggestions on how I need to respond to viewers who are superficial. Erica suggested this reply:

Dear Anonymous
Thank you for your email. The Pantene Pro V Beautiful Lengths campaign is a wonderful event and I really enjoy participating every year. I was excited about getting my hair cut as well. However, I have experienced no mixed emotions at all when I look in the mirror. As you can tell I have a lot of hair and contrary to your personal belief, it’s not poofy, just thick. Also, are you the official spokesperson for the many WLBT weather watchers you made reference to? I seriously doubt it. In the future, please remember to practice speaking only for yourself. When judgment day comes and we are all standing before God, no one will be able to speak for you and you will not be able to speak for anyone. So, with that said, I will not lose my THICK hair! Thank you for watching WLBT!

Lori sent me this question:
Good grief! Do you ever want to just throw your clicker at the camera and say "Enough already people!"

I've had several speaking engagements this week. One lady came up to me and stated, "Oh, I was so relieved to see you in person today and see how much weight you've lost. When you came back from maternity leave, I saw you on tv and thought, 'Good Lord, not again! She's not pregnant again, is she?'"

And yes, those emails keep coming, too, although they have slowed down a bit over the last few weeks.

"Well, here it goes. Never ask a woman this question. At a get together, the subject came up. Are you pregnant again or working off the last child?" Signed, James

"Barbie, are you pregnant again? We were just wondering at my work." Signed Christy

"Hey Barbie, You do a good job but, as my husband and I was watching the other night we got into a discussion. We wanted to know if you are expecting again? Solved this for us please. Not that its any of our business. But, we just wanted to know. Signed, Melissa from Heidelberg

"Heard a rumor you were pregnant with TWINS. Is that true? If so, when are you due?" Signed, Linda

Nope, no pregnancy. But, I have lost 24 pounds in 10 weeks and still counting due to the liquid diet from Baptist Health Systems, my cardio workout at the gym, and lots of prayer.

And finally, I received a voice mail this week from the same lady whom I wrote about in my blog entry entitled, "Suggestions from a Caller" (August 15). She said, "Not only do you look like you have one bird's nest in your hair, but you look like you have three bird's nests in your hair." After hearing that comment, I did something I've never done before after a suggestion from my good friend and co-worker Maggie Wade---I hit the delete button on the voice mail. Therefore, I didn't hear the rest of her message. Normally, I would sit and listen to everything a person would say on my voice mail and then get upset over their terse words. I would stew over their comments and get my feelings hurt. But Maggie has been teaching me that the delete button is "my friend". Now, I don't waste time in listening to the diatribes. Instead, I stop, bow my head and pray for the soul of the person who is being used by Satan.

Now, if you will please excuse me while I go poof my hair and get ready for the birth of my twins... (I'm kidding).

What Are You Speaking About Others?

When Peter wrote to the Christians, he knew they were facing hardships and persecutions. Peter wanted to encourage them and offer them hope and meaning in the midst of their suffering. The Christians he was writing to were living in Asia Minor, which is Turkey today. These Christians were upset with how they were being treated and what was being said about them. He wrote to them in 1 Peter 2:1, "So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander." Although the Jews were causing them great trouble, Peter was encouraging them to not treat them likewise.

John also wrote to this same group of Christians located in the same area. He wrote in 1 John 4:7-8, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love."

How easy is it for us as humans to find fault in someone else! How easy it is for us to talk critically of someone else!

But the Bible says we are not to participate in that kind of thinking or speaking. That is what malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander is. Then the apostle John has the audacity to tell us that if we do such, then we "do not know God" because God would not treat His children that way!

Yes, the criticism you and I face daily is from people who "do not know God". If they did, they would not treat their brothers and sisters in Christ with such meanness. More importantly, we must ask ourself if we are participating in any "malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy or slander" towards them and are we instead showing them love? I don't know about you, but I don't want to disappoint the Father. Not showing love to those who speak unkind of you and me would be a travesty in God's eyes and a waste of our time here on earth.

Tomorrow I will share more emails, phone calls and comments from our viewers and hear what some of you had to say about yesterday's blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Your Hair is Too Poofy!

It has been nice to go through the summer with a short haircut after having donated it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths in June. I've received many compliments on the hairstyle, as most viewers think it "looks more professional". I have alot of hair, as you've probably surmised. But one viewer says it's too poofy. I received this email from a viewer Tuesday night.

Barbie, I am aware that you cut your hair for Pantene Pro V's Beautiful Lengths. I was excited about your new haircut and really like it, but also experienced mixed emotions secondary to the everlasting poof! I thought since you were going for a new look you would have buried the poof with the old hair do!! I think I speak for many WLBT weather watching viewers when I say, "Lose the poof!" Signed, Anonymous

What? You mean to tell me someone isn't paying attention to my forecasts but are more concerned about my poofy hair? (Here we go again....)

I found this neat interactive website called http://www.yearbookyourself.com/ . I've always wondered what I'd look like 'back in the day' and I got a good indication of it once I uploaded my picture and the hairstyles of that year were put on my face. I wonder what viewers would say about my poofy hair if I went on looking like this:

1994 Barbie (The wet-crimp ironed hair was the bomb)
1984 Barbie (80s hair rocks!)

1978 Barbie (Get down!)

1974 Barbie (It's always "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!")

1968 Barbie (This is so "That Girl")

1966 Barbie (I know it's called "a bob", but it was really a modified Dorothy Hamil haircut)

1960 Barbie (how do you like the Sarah Palin glasses?)

Presence vs. Presents

Have you ever known someone to like you only for what you can do for them? When I was a child, there was an older lady in my town who always gave me coins. Every time we went to the bank on main street, she was usually making a deposit for her family business. When I saw her, she would pull out her purse and offer me a silver dollar. After a few trips, I quickly figured out the routine. So I began to look for her several times a week so I could get my coin and put it in my piggy bank. I didn't really care for her conversations, but I wanted that coin!

Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your path." To acknowledge God means to submit all our plans to Him to work out according to His will and desire for us. And what He wants is for us to come to know Him in the power of His resurrection and to behold Him in all His and glory.

When my husband travels, we always look forward to him coming home and there is grand excitement in the air. But if we just wanted to see what gift he brought us, he might be disappointed, hurt or offended.

The Bible teaches that a child should be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, promising if he is trained in the way he should go, he will not depart from it in Proverbs 22:6. God is training us up, His children, in the way we should go--not the way we want to go, but the way we should go.

When we seek God's face and His presence (not his presents), His hand is always open to us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

When God Gives You A Dream

As a kid, I had big dreams (hey, there wasn't much to do growing up in Marks, Mississippi unless you wanted to farm 24 hours a day!). I had felt called into the ministry at a young age and loved meteorology, but I didn't know how those two would work together. So when people would ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", I would always tell them, "I want to be on tv giving the weather!" They would usually laugh while they looked at me because I wasn't much to look at. The simple thought that someone from a small town would actually be on television one day doing the weather was so laughable; plus, there were no females doing the weather on the television stations we watched. Even though some thought it was quite comical, I still talked about my dreams.

As a young boy, Joseph had a dream in which he saw himself being honored by all the members of his family. The mistake he made was telling his dream because it was one of the things that made his brothers so hateful and envious. They tried to get rid of him by selling him into slavery. Joseph was a bit overly exuberant. That's why God spent several years doing a work in him before He could use him to fulfill His plan to bless him and his family and many, many others. Acts 7:9 says, "And Jacob's sons, boiling with envy and hatred and anger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him."

We make that same mistake. When God reveals His dream and vision for our life, we share it with others who aren't as thrilled about it as we are and may even cause us problems, just as Joseph's brothers did for him.

If you and I are going to enjoy God's fullness for our lives, we must go through times when we have to stand alone. Sometimes we must be left with nobody so we will learn to depend solely upon the Lord. Then we will be forced to place our entire faith and trust in God. He wants us to be rooted and grounded in Him, able to stand alone, with Him upholding us.

I don't believe God wants us to be a clone of someone else. He wants us to be unique and creative, hence the reason why He gives us dreams and visions for our future. He is looking for something new and fresh in us. He wants us to operate by His Spirit.

There were many times when Joseph had to fly alone. He faced hard, lonely times in his life, especially the time he spent in jail in a foreign land. Yet through all of his adversity, notice what the scriptures say about Joseph's situation: "but God was with him". And in the end, Joseph's dreams were fulfilled.

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Update On Ike

Several of you have asked for an update on Ike so I'll end the work week with a forecast. Ike had some difficulty yesterday. The center of circulation in the upper levels was off from the eye which means the storm wasn't cylindrical. This made Ike wobble some and he wasn't able to reach category 3 status and remained as a category 2 all day. Here is the latest track from the NHC:Ike is running out of time if he is going to grow to a category 3. However, Ike has made his presence known all along the Gulf of Mexico. The wind field from this storm has been massive which has caused large waves along the coastal areas. The storm is as large as the state of Texas and has a larger wind field than Katrina did.

In our viewing area, we will experience windy condition over the next 2 days as well as the chance for tornadoes. Rain bands will continue to spread over the state through Sunday so the wet stuff will hang around. Once Ike gets caught up in the jet stream and teams with a cold front, the remnants will move over north Mississippi early next week.

Be weather vigilant over the next few days as Ike comes ashore and moves more inland. The National Weather Service may begin issuing tornado warnings for various parts of the state through the weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Being Ready

I recently saw a poll which stated 76.5% of Americans (159 million) identify themselves as Christian. That is down from 86.2% in 1990. Does our daily actions, words and choices reflect a heart that is surrendered to Jesus?

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." Jesus is saying that calling Him "Lord" isn't enough. Just because we have joined the church and sit in church every Sunday does not mean we possess the kingdom of heaven. Or as the old saying goes, sitting in a church does not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car!

Unfortunately, this is what many believe. They believe that because they go to church and go through the motions and the rituals, they must be children of God. They believe that because they've been baptized or confirmed or because they take communion (or what we Baptists refer to as 'The Lord's Supper'), they'll go to heaven when they die. They believe that because they "prayed the prayer," they will have eternal life regardless of the way they live.

But that isn't what Jesus says. He tells us that it's not those who say "Lord, Lord" but those who habitually--not perfectly, but habitually, as a lifestyle--do the will of the Father who will enter His kingdom.

Salvation is a marvelous gift, a gift that not only brings us the hope of heaven to come but the strength to do His will here on earth. Let us "nail it down" while we can!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have Any Mountains To Move?

It is amazing all of the things one can forget when you've been out of school for years. I'm enjoying homeschooling Gracie and re-learning those basic things about nature that I learned as a child. In her science lessons, she is learning all about trees: leaves, the different parts of trees, seeds and pollenation. We are having a good time going outside and actually finding things she is learning about so she can see them in real settings. We've looked at the different sizes of seeds and their purpose in this world. In doing so, it made me think about Matthew 17:20, "Verily I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Be uprooted and move and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you."

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of what we say about other people, but what about what we say regarding our circumstances? We all have various mountains in our life. Some of our mountains are bigger than others; some are merely hills that just get in the way and trip us up every now and then.

The word verily means "truly or really". If Jesus were to transform himself in the flesh right here in front of us, I could just imagine him saying, "I'm telling you the truth, really".

So He is saying that all we need is alittle bit of faith---a hint of faith, a smidgen of faith, just a pinch of faith. Do you have that much or that little?

Many times, we get down in the dumps because of the mountains we have in our life that won't seem to move. But if what you and I have in life was all up to God, Jesus never would've said Matthew 17:20. He's waiting on you to move that mountain with your faith....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Hush!

When God gets ready to deal with somebody, He deals with their mouth first.

I love watching my kids interact with each other. They can bicker with each other so quickly, but let another child come into the mix and speak ugly to one of them and they will quickly take up for each other. It's like that old saying, 'You better not talk bad about my sister, but it's ok if I do!' When I hear them arguing about something, I find myself telling them to "hush!" Some days, I feel like that's all I do is go around saying, "hush, hush, hush!"

One time I was talking about somebody and the Lord spoke to me and said, "Well, who do you think you are?" Romans 2:1 says, "Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condems another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things." Gossip, slander, and backbiting all have a root, just like a tree or a flower. The root of these things is judgement and the root of judgement is pride. So when we talk about other people and negatively, it is because we think we are better than they are.

In God's eyes, sin is sin and wrong is wrong. All if it is equally disappointing and distasteful to Him and it is also very dangerous. Jesus warned in Matthew 7:1-2, "Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you." When the Lord convicted me of what I had said about another person, He was also saying "That's my child you're talking about!"

So if we have reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord, and if we stand in awe of His name, we should not use our mouths to speak evil against His people. Is God telling you and me to "just hush" when it comes to speaking about other people?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Who or What Is Controlling You Today?

It has been nice to decompress after last week's weather, however I've been watching Hurricane Ike closely, just like you. For now, it looks as if Ike will "go west young man" and make landfall in eastern Texas or the western fringes of Louisiana. I don't wish harm on anyone, but I'm hoping the gulf coast gets a break on this one. It looks as if high pressure that is progged to build behind a cold front will "protect" the southeastern Louisiana coast, Mississippi gulf coast, as well as Alabama and Florida. However, if the track shifts just a little bit east, we could still deal with tornadoes and rain once landfall occurs. Here's the latest composite track.

Before my husband headed off to handle evacuations, he bought us tickets to see the circus over the weekend. The children had a ball! Even Lilly Faith stayed awake for most of the action. We had fabulous seats--on the floor, just feet from the performers and animals. It had all of the makings of your typical circus: acrobats, clowns, tumblers, elephants, and tigers.

At one point, a beautiful brunette dressed in sequins and rhinestones came out to tame 6 white tigers. They acted like big kitty cats, but every now and then made you realize they were dangerous. I enjoyed watching the pretty lady crack her whip and make them do tricks. You could tell when they got mad at her--they would show their fangs and growl at her. But she also had a rod with a nice chunk of raw meat on the end of it which she used to entice them to do their tricks. The control she had over those tigers was pretty impressive. If one moved out of place, she raised her voice, cracked her whip and they obeyed!

Paul talked about control in Romans 8:9, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." That's pretty cut and dry, isn't it?

So do spirit-filled Christians still sin? Yes, but not while they are controlled by the Spirit. Having the Spirit of God within does not always mean surrendering to his control. To use Paul's language, we can be in the Spirit, but not live according to the Spirit. I can live in another part of the world and not live according to its customs, patterns and ways. The journey of being a disciple of Christ involves learning how to let the Spirit have control. But unlike that tiger-tamer, God doesn't have to crack His whip to get us to let Him control us; for that is a choice we make on our own.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What A Week!

The title says it all. We've all been through alot, haven't we? We've rushed our preparations to completion, stayed glued to the tv and internet, and have been amazed at how many vehicles can fit on I-55 south as people head back to the Mississippi coast and Louisiana.

I'm taking Friday off. I'm getting my children back from my parents and hoping my husband gets to come back home any day. I'm going to visit with the little ones and find out what all they've been doing while the rest of us have been working through the storm. With that said, I'll return with my "Forecasts & Faith" blog on Monday.

I hope you have a sunny weekend and enjoy!

Gustav Pictures

The tornado warnings continued yesterday. Since Gustav made landfall, the National Weather Service has issued over 200 tornado warnings just for central Mississippi! One of those tornadoes touched down in Bude Wednesday. Tony Mullins sent me a picture that his friend Delton Butler took of the tornado as it touched down along highway 84. This is what a landfalling tropical system will cause!
Cedric Collins sent me these pictures of the flooding taken in Franklin County.

Annette Sifford sent me these pictures taken at the time of Gustav's arrival. These are from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Those familiar with the area near the Beau Rivage will recognize this location.

No, Gustav was no Katrina. He made a name for himself without Katrina's help. But when I suggested that you prepare just like you did for Katrina, I hope you felt prepared once the weather got progressively worse. As I stated in my blog several times before, Gustav would not get any worse than Katrina.

I've heard from many of you who have been appreciative of the blog updates on Gustav and the severe weather afterward. I hope through all of this, you will be even better prepared for the next tropical system whatever his or her name may be....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday's Weather Update

Once again, my apologies for being so tardy today. I got home several hours ago, had a few hours of sleep, and am back at work again.

Gustav is just a pesky low pressure system now but is still causing problems. Portions of the state will still experience tornado warnings as these quick spin-up tornadoes form. Not to mention, the gusty winds and periods of heavy rain. I am amazed at the pictures that have been sent to me from viewers in southwest Mississippi. The amount of flooding and wind damage is enormous. While some have said "we dodged a bullet", tell that to people in Natchez, Brookhaven, Meadville, Bude, McComb and areas along Hwy 84. They didn't dodge anything!

Take a look at this graphic and see if you can find your county.

We have received so many unconfirmed reports of tornado touchdowns. The National Weather Service will be surveying the damage over the next few days to determine if they were indeed caused by tornadoes.

The good news is the weather begins to improve Thursday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Day After

(I apologize for the late update. I got home at 3am.)
Although Gustav has made landfall, we will continue to feel his presence today and tonight. Gusty winds, heavy rain and tornadoes will be possible through this evening as the outer rain bands spin over the state. We are all under a tornado watch for most of the day.

Power outages can still occur today and crews will wait until the wind dies down before they go in to make line repairs. Most of the counties south of I-20 are without power and flash flooding is becoming a problem now.

Stay on your toes today and be prepared to take cover should a warning be issued for your area.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav's Arrival

Gustav picked up steam last night and is making land fall this morning along the south central Louisiana coast as a category 2 hurricane.

Here is what we can expect in Mississippi. The highest winds should be south of highway 84(from Natchez, to Brookhaven, to Monticello, to Hattiesburg). If you live in this area, you will have winds sustained for several hours at 30-45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. This will cause snapped trees and downed power lines. If you live north of I-20, you will have sustained winds of 20-35 mph with gusts of 40-50 mph. This will cause scattered or widespread tree and power line damage with power outages expected. If you live north of I-20, you will have winds sustained for several hours of 20-25 mph with gusts of 30-40 mph. There could be scattered power outages. The winds will pick up this morning and continue through midnight. Starting this afternoon and tonight, tornadoes will be possible. This will continue throughout Tuesday along with periods of heavy rain. Gustav is expected to put the brakes on once reaching land and some isolated amounts of 5-10 inches of rain could occur, especially in southwest Mississippi. Areas along the I-55 corridor could have 2-4 inches of rain with some isolated spots receiving more.

Seeing as we all could lose power at any time today, please have your NOAA weather radio on so you can be informed of the latest weather conditions where you are. Meantime, I'll be with you on WLBT throughout the day and overnight.