By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel broadcasted from the Mississippi State University campus Monday.
Seidel is a field reporter and on-camera meteorologist and was in town to cover the severe weather that was predicted to hit much of the southeast. He reported regularly throughout the day from campus for the Weather Channel and MSNBC.
“We decided on this spot as a central location for the severe weather in the south,” Seidel said. “Just because we’re here, as I said all morning on the air, doesn’t mean there’s going to be a tornado. Because, sometimes they see us here and it’s ‘Oh my God!’ But that’s not the case.”
The Weather Channel’s broadcast from the MSU campus was no cause for alarm for local residents. While the area was expecting strong thunderstorms and winds, Seidel explained that their presence didn’t mean Starkville would necessarily see any damage.
“We just picked this as a kind of jumping off point if, unfortunately, we have to go cover some aftermath from the storms,” Seidel said. “It cuts down on the drive. It’s purely logistical.”
Seidel also wanted to broadcast from MSU because of it’s well-respected meteorology department.
“The other reason we decided to come here is because Mississippi State has such a big meteorology program. I’ve wanted to get over here and see the department,” Seidel said. “There are a lot of Mississippi State graduates over at the Weather Channel.”
As of press time Monday, the Weather Channel was predicting strong wind, thunderstorms and hail for Starkville and the surrounding areas.
“We’re expecting severe weather, but I think most of the damage will be straight-line wind damage, if anything,” Seidel said “We’re not thinking it will be a big day for tornadoes, but as we say, it only takes one. Of course, by the time we see this in the paper, we’ll know.”
According to www.Weather.com , straight-line winds are defined as any surface wind that is not associated with rotation. Winds were expected to be between 20 and 30 mph during the evening and throughout the night Monday.
Seidel and the Weather Channel crew will move on from Starkville on Tuesday. He is well-known for covering breaking weather and is often sent to cover major storms. They will likely cover any damage caused by the large storm Monday.