Friday, April 29, 2011

A Reflection on the Storms

Whether you know someone who is picking up the pieces or if you've looked at the incredible footage on television, the storms this week have certainly left a mark on everyone's heart.

Tracking storms for hours on air without a break during a 36 hour time period wears heavily on me physically, mentally and emotionally. There is nothing like reliving the memories of November 2001 for me and my neighbors, seeing what's headed in a town's direction and knowing how their lives will forever change because of one weather event.

Several people have asked why April has been such an active tornado month for Mississippi. The most active months for tornadoes occur from April to June. So, we've only just begun. However, there are several reasons why this April has been so stormy.

The jet stream has been blowing at 150 miles per hour! Combine that fast moving stream of wind with the breezy conditions we've had at the ground level, and you have plenty of shear to work with. The second factor is we are currently in a La Nina weather pattern. The air in the Pacific Ocean is a bit cooler and this has off set the jet stream causing it to dip into the southeastern states. Next, the warm air blowing over the Gulf of Mexico continues to bring in plenty of humid, unstable air. And lastly, the southwestern states have been dealing with a drought. The dry air at the mid levels of the atmosphere (roughly 9,000 feet up) acts as a "lid" or a cap and contains thunderstorms at a certain point. When that cap finally breaks, the storms explode into the violent ones we've seen, similiar to lifting the lid off a steamy pot of boiling water. All of these together over the southeastern states have equaled an April of historic proportions.

From a spiritual standpoint, I still see God's hand reaching down to comfort everyone affected. Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Those who are picking up the pieces and burying their loved ones have broken hearts today; they have a crushed spirit. They are at their lowest of low.

I don't understand why storms come and the world is often turned upside down. But I do know God is still in control and He is bigger than any storm that we've ever faced.

Pray for those who have been affected by the storms. If it's within your power to help, then act in a way God would have you whether it's donating time, money, items or taking a day to gather with some friends and help the victims pick up the pieces of their lives. This is our chance to be God's hands and feet and minister to the broken hearted and spread some "Son"shine.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker Saturday at the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries convention in Memphis, TN.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Severe Weather

Get ready for a rocky start to the work week!

A strong cold front is slowly making progress at moving closer to the state. Although the front is stalled west of the Mississippi River, the power behind the front is over west Texas and New Mexico. Therefore, severe weather is possible tonight through Wednesday afternoon.

Severe weather is possible overnight tonight as the cold front moves closer to the delta counties. Find your county on this map and see what is expected:

The cold front moves a bit closer to the state Tuesday afternoon and the threat for severe weather will increase Tuesday night into Wednesday. Here is the NWS graphical depiction of the time frame and what's expected.

Notice both of these rounds come into the overnight hours--the worst times. By Wednesday, the cold front will finally get the "kick" it needs to move east. Strong storms will be coming to a close.

It is uncertain whether or not the cold front will produce squall lines or supercells similar to what we experienced just over a week ago. Some portions of the state may not even see a drop of rain, while others could witness tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and downpours. This system will be evolving and changing as it moves east, so I can't specifically pinpoint the exact time frame for it's arrival in your county nor can I tell you which counties will experience the worst.

However, I can urge you to have a weather radio with S.A.M.E. technology which is county specific and suggest you stay on top of the weather changes by keeping it tuned to WLBT, to our Facebook pages and follow me on Twitter @BarbieBassett. Severe weather season in Mississippi shouldn't be taken lightly!

(Barbie will be speaking Wednesday at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Administrative Professionals luncheon. She will be in Memphis Saturday speaking at the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries convention.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Lesson in Peter Cottontail

The stomach virus has made the rounds through the Bassett family this week, so we've stayed put. My sister gave us a copy of the 1970s clay-mation classic "The Legend of Peter Cottontail" for the children to watch. It had been years since I'd seen it. While we don't talk about the Easter Bunny at our home, I've always loved bunny rabbits and thought it would be something different to watch.

It tells the story of Peter Cottontail who lived in April Valley. Colonel Wellington B. Bunny, the retiring Chief Easter Bunny, names young Peter his successor despite Peter's propensity for boasting and telling fibs, which is exemplified when his left ear droops. Peter, who has dreamed of being the Chief Easter Bunny almost his entire life, gladly accepts. But not everyone in April Valley is happy with the Colonel's decision. January Q. Irontail, an evil, reclusive rabbit villain wants to be the Chief Easter Bunny, but only so he can ruin it for children everywhere. Irontail proposes that Colonel Bunny hold a contest between himself and Peter to see who can deliver the most Easter eggs to April Valley. The day of the contest, Peter overslept and lost the contest. Peter comes upon a French caterpillar named Antoine who introduces Peter to a time machine which enables Peter to go back to Easter and retake the contest. Through various events, Peter reaches every holiday EXCEPT Easter. Irontail sabotaged Peter's attempt to make things right and colored all of Peter's eggs green. After many failed efforts, Peter finally managed to give the green eggs away on St. Patrick's Day, since they are the appropriate color for the occasion. As a result, Peter is crowned Chief Easter Bunny.

It's a cute story with a lesson that I've never discovered until now.

Satan would have you believe your past is your future. If that were the case, Jesus died on the cross for your sins and mine for naught. God told Isaiah in Isaiah 43:18-19, "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

God said He is doing a new thing in the life of His children---not a yesterday thing or a last year thing, but a NEW thing and it's ready to burst through for you and me, for those who are earnestly seeking God's will.

We don't have a time machine like Peter Cottontail in which we can use to go back and undo our past. However, we can press through whatever adversity has come our way and make it into a colorful display of God's grace and mercy for all to see.

If God tosses our sins into the "sea of forgetfulness", then let them lay at the bottom of the ocean floor!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Barbie is away today taking care of one of her sick children. She should return to the blog Friday. Remember, if you're looking for a Mothers Day gift or an encouraging word, you can purchase "Forecasts & Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life" by clicking on the book to the left. It can no longer be found in stores and is in its last printing. It can be personalized however you wish.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday's Severe Weather

Today's storms need to be taken seriously. This storm has already had a history of fatalities out west, injuries and massive damage. Much of the state is under a tornado watch until 3pm. The most intense storms will be north of I-20 and east of I-55. These storms could include damaging wind gusts up to 80mph (which could bring down trees and power lines), strong tornadoes and hail larger than golf balls. Here is the NWS' graphic depiction of the timing of the storms. You can find your county here:

The worst of the storms will be out of the WLBT viewing area after 6pm. Anytime you wish, you can look at the WLBT radar by clicking here. You can also follow my micro-weather updates by following me on Twitter @BarbieBassett and "Liking" the Barbie Bassett WLBT page on Facebook.

More storms are possible next week. If you don't have a weather radio yet, perhaps the active weather will convince you to get one soon!

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at the MFWC State Convention Saturday morning at 7am and speaking at First Baptist Church of Flora Saturday at 9:30am.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Severe Weather Monday

It's getting to be a weekly event it seems--severe weather! We are in our spring time severe weather season, after all.

Storms could be strong to severe this afternoon as a cold front enters the state. Storms will fire along the Mississippi River around Noon and continue east throughout the afternoon. These storms should be along the I-59 corridor from Meridian to Hattiesburg by 7pm tonight. Here is the NWS' graphical depiction.
Storms could contain high winds, heavy rain, quarter size hail and a quick spin-up tornado. Please have your weather radio on this afternoon until the storms have passed you by. I'll be on WLBT and will keep you updated.

Temperatures will cool slightly behind the cold front Tuesday.

(Have you gotten your Mothers Day gift yet? Order Barbie's book today & have it shipped. The book can no longer be found in retail outlets and can only be found here. This last printing of 'Forecasts & Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life' are going fast! Barbie will be speaking at MSU's Assault Conference Tuesday & at the Flowood Chamber's Administrative Assistants luncheon. She will be the guest speaker at the MFWC statewide convention & FBC Flora's ladies brunch on Saturday.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cut It Out

A few weeks ago, I noticed my roses weren't looking sporty. It was time to pull the old pruning shears out. For the small twigs that need to go, I used hand-sized shears. Some of those branches had a larger circumference and forced me to use more of my own strength in order to cut through the dead parts, so I had to use the much larger pruning shears. When God prunes us, He isn't just trying to take away. He's faithfully at work to make room to add strength, productivity and spiritual power to our life. James 1:3-4 says, "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." God's goal is to bring you and I closer to the "perfect and complete" image of Christ. Every trial you face and every cut of the shears is an opportunity to let God work in your life for abundance in every way. If you invite Him into your circumstances, He will keep the promise He made in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." You should see those same roses now!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Severe Weather Monday

Severe weather has already caused damage to our west over the last 24 hours which is always a sign of what's to come for us.

With an intense jet stream bringing plenty of moisture and instability to the area. Temperatures will soar into the 80s ahead of the cold front today and drop significantly Tuesday.

This system was expected to move in a bit later tonight from previous computer model runs, however it has sped up dramatically. Now this appears to be a mostly daytime event, which is better (in my opinion).

All modes of severe weather are possible including hail, severe storms, tornadoes, heavy rain and damaging winds. Winds will be sustained 20-30 miles per hour out of the southwest today with much higher gusts. Winds could gust to 60-70 miles per hour in the stronger storms. This is enough to cause power outages and damage to property!

Here is the graphic depiction from the NWS of today's timing. Please find your county shape and note the estimated time of arrival. Take note that school will be letting out for some and others will be in the middle of afternoon drive when the severe weather rolls in:

Please have your weather radio on until the severe weather passes your area. I'll be on WLBT with the latest updates as well as sharing micro-weather updates on Twitter @BarbieBassett and the WLBT First Alert Weather Facebook page.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Being Broken Doesn't Prevent God From Working

Do you know of anyone who is dealing an adverse situation that has lasted for too long? The bleeding woman in Luke 8 had been considered unclean for twelve years. Not only was she shunned, but she had spent all of her money and all that she owned, trying to find a cure. She was hurting physically and emotionally. But God heard her cry for mercy and He knew exactly when her healing would take place. He knew her name and He also knew in her desperation she would see the Lord and reach out for him.

When you and I are faced with a trial, we do what this woman did--we run from person to person until we think we've found the help we need. Finally when we get to the point of giving up, we cry out to Him and confess our need. We realize God has been beside all of the time, just waiting for us to turn to Him. When the woman touched Jesus' robe, she was healed physically, spiritually and emotionally.

The brokenness of your life doesn't prevent God from loving you. He wants to heal every area of your life and mend every sorrow you have and He wants you to know He has a plan for your life that goes beyond the hurt and frustration you are feeling. God will move on your behalf and bring you to a point of peace and rest in knowing He is in control of all that is beyond your human ability.

(Barbie will be speaking at the Mississippi Hospital Association today & Flowood Baptist Church's sold out ladies luncheon Saturday.)