Tornado Tracks Over 100 Miles Across Mississippi

April 23-24, 2010 Tornado Outbreak

It must be stressed that all of this information is preliminary and subject to later adjustment. Tornadoes of this magnitude require a tremendous amount of survey and analysis. We will provide updates as additional information is available.

Preliminary Storm Survey Information from Tallulah Louisiana to Durant Mississippi as of 4/25/2010.

NWS survey teams have surveyed the path of the storm from its start from west of Tallulah, Louisiana to as far as Durant, Mississippi. Tornado damage, much of it strong, was found along the entire least in those areas accessible by road.

Preliminary information from surveys of the track:

Rating: EF-4 with maximum winds of 170 mph.

Path length: 97 miles...this length will increase as more damage is surveyed today.

Maximum Width: 1.75 miles

Casualties: 10 total fatalities with dozens of injuries

A number of areas of EF-3 damage with estimated winds of 150 to 165 mph were found along the path. Two areas of EF-4 damage with maximum winds of 170 mph were in Yazoo City...and the other in Holmes county.

Preliminary Storm Survey Information in Choctaw County into Oktibbeha County

NWS survey teams surveyed the path of the storm across Choctaw county and have determined that the damage path continues into Oktibeha county. This damage has been determined to be at least a high end EF-3. Whether or not this is part of the same continuous tornado path all the way back to its start in northeast Louisiana has yet to be determined.

NWS survey teams will be in this area again today to try to determine how far northeast the track extends and whether this is part of the longer continuous track.

As storm survey findings become available, that information will be posted to this space over the next several days.

Preliminary Storm Survey Information for Smith County

Preliminary information from surveys of the track of the tornado that moved over Smith county:

Beginning Point: 9 miles southwest of Raleigh

Ending Point: 2 miles east of Raleigh

Rating: EF-1

Path Length: 10 miles

Maximum Width: 50 yards

Fatalities/Injuries: 0

A number of small trees were snapped. Large limbs were down and 2 large hardwood trees were uprooted.

Preliminary Storm Survey Information for Jasper and Lauderdale Counties

Preliminary information from surveys of the track of the tornado that moved over Jasper and Lauderdale counties:

Beginning Point: 2 miles northeast of Montrose

Ending Point: 2 miles north of Savoy

Rating: EF-2

Path Length: 28 miles

Maximum Width: 0.6 mile

Fatalities/Injuries: 0

Major structural damage to a church with roof damage. Shingles and siding were blown off of a house and an outbuilding was destroyed along with damage to a grain silo. Numerous large and very large softwood and hardwood trees were snapped and uprooted.

Preliminary Storm Survey Information for Lauderdale and Kemper Counties

Preliminary information from surveys of the track of the tornado that moved over Lauderdale and Kemper counties:

Beginning Point: 2 miles southwest of Prismatic

Ending Point: 2 miles northwest of Prismatic

Rating: EF-1

Path Length: 3.6 miles

Maximum Width: 100 yards

Fatalities/Injuries: 0

Four barns were destroyed or damaged, a portion of metal building roof was torn off, and one shed was destroyed. Numerous medium and large trees were snapped along the path.

The NWS would like to thank all of our partners in law enforcement and emergency management for their invaluable assistance in performing our damage surveys.

Event Summary

A potent storm system brought an extended period of severe weather to the Arklamiss region beginning in the afternoon hours of Friday, April 23rd and lasting through the late evening hours of Saturday, April 24th. Scattered severe thunderstorms developed and moved across northeastern Louisiana and parts of Mississippi during the afternoon and evening hours. Several reports of large hail were received from across the area, including golf ball size hail in Sunflower County. In addition, some wind damage was reported over southern portions of Leflore County in association with a possible tornado.

Though the storms on Friday did not cause widespread damage, a much more dangerous situation unfolded across the region on Saturday. Initially, two separate clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms affected the area during the morning hours. One moved across southeastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi, dropping hail up to golf ball size. Another moved across south central and southeastern Mississippi, producing large hail and some wind damage. One of the storms over southern Mississippi produced a possible tornado as it moved from southern Simpson County across Smith County, northern Jasper County, and into the Meridian area in Lauderdale County. The same storm produced golf ball size hail across Smith County.

However, the most destructive storm of the day developed over northern Louisiana during the mid to late morning hours. The first report of damage was received shortly after 11am near the city of Tallulah. From that point, things only got worse as the supercell tracked from west to east across the entire state of Mississippi. Along the way, it produced significant damage in several locations including the Eagle Lake area of Warren County, Valley Park in Issaquena County, Satartia and Yazoo City in Yazoo County, Ebenezer and Durant in Holmes County, north of Kosciusko near Hesterville in Attala County, French Camp and Chester in Choctaw County, north of Starkville in Oktibbeha County, and east of West Point in Clay County. Multiple fatalities and injuries were reported in association with the storm, and several structures were damaged or destroyed.

Later in the evening hours, additional storms lingered over portions of east central Mississippi. Large hail was reported with some of these storms, including hail to the size of tennis balls in southern Lowndes County. One storm northwest of Meridian produced an apparent tornado along the Lauderdale-Kemper County line. Several trees were downed and some minor structural damage was reported in the area.

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