Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Tornado Chronicles: Monticello, MS Tornado of December 25, 2012

A strong tornado tracked just to the West and Northwest of Monticello, MS (Lawrence County) during the mid to late afternoon hours of Christmas Day, 2012.

The National Weather Service (NWS) ground survey rated this tornado EF-2 intensity, with maximum winds estimated at 120 mph.  Approximately 7 people were injured as a result of this tornado, which reached a maximum width of one-quarter mile.

The tornado initially touched down at approximately 3:35 pm CST, 8.25 miles West/Southwest of Monticello.  It then tracked generally toward the Northeast for approximately 9.2 miles before lifting 1.5 mile North of Monticello at approximately 3:44 pm CST:

The tornado initially produced damage mainly to trees and some minor damage to roof shingles:

As it tracked Northeast toward James Cox road, the tornado widened to nearly 1/4 mile, and took off a portion of the roof of at least 1 home:

The width of the tornado decreased as it approached Highway 84, but the tornado intensified, producing EF-2 intensity damage to several mobile homes and travel trailers which were lifted off the ground and thrown back down to be completely destroyed (photo via examiner.com):

This area of enhanced damage is also where the 7 injuries took place (which required hospitalization - there were likely other minor injuries as well).  A small business in the area also had substantial roof damage and two exterior walls were blown down (photo not available as of this writing).

The tornado then decreased in intensity as it traveled Northeast beyond Highway 84, producing mainly light tree damage before lifting to the North of Monticello.

Just like the majority of the other tornadoes that took place on Christmas Day 2012, there are no known photos or videos of the tornado itself that have come forward to date.  We'll continue to be on the lookout and post any new information and/or photos as they become available.

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