Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Tornado Chronicles: Hattiesburg, MS Tornado of 2-10-13...

(Originally published at 6pm CST 2/10/13.  Subsequent updates added throughout the post...)

A large, violent tornado struck Hattiesburg, MS during the 5 o'clock hour (CST) on Sunday afternoon, February 10, 2013.  Widespread, significant damage took place and many people were injured - but thankfully, no one was killed.

Below are photos of the actual tornado as they were posted on various social media outlets.  Credit is given where I could reasonably determine the photographer:

Unknown USM Student - via WLBT TV

Unknown photog - via twitter

Kimberly Krapcha - via twitter

Jordan Holliman - via Instagram

John Sibley's Stream - ChaserTV

WDAM-TV tower cam

Unknown photog - via twitter

The following videos of the tornado have also come forward.  WARNING:  foul language in some:

Based on radar, I have sketched the following Hattiesburg tornado track map.  Please keep in mind this is an approximation as to the tornado's path.  Do not take the width literally throughout, as I have simply attempted to approximate a margin of error along the center of the path.

...also, please keep in mind that I am not stating that the tornado touched down and lifted at the indicated points.  Those are simply the points at which I started and stopped analyzing the radar data in order to prepare the map.  A complete map will be provided as soon as the National Weather Service (NWS) storm survey is finished.

The survey team is out working at this time (2-11-13 and 2-12-13), and they report preliminary damage of "at least" EF-3 intensity with maximum winds of 140-145 mph, but the survey is not complete yet.  Here are some damage photos that the survey team has provided so far:

Oak Grove High School football complex

West Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg Technology Center

Church Near USM Campus

The following video of some of the damage was recently posted on YouTube. It was taken by Amber Adams along East 5th Street at Hutchinson Ave.  It's too bad she frequently jumps left to right across the street, but you can catch a glimpse of some pretty revealing damage at points, especially on the "right" side of the road:

At approximately 53 to 54 seconds in, she jumps from the left side of the street to the right side again, and we see what appears to have been a brick veneer single family home that has been leveled with no walls (interior or exterior) remaining.  I've grabbed it in this screen shot:

If this is the case, that could be EF-4 intensity damage ("expected" winds of 170 mph, lower range 142 mph, upper range 198 mph).  It's hard to say with such a brief glimpse, but I suspect damage like this is why the NWS storm survey earlier today called the damage "preliminary, at least EF-3".  UPDATE at late afternoon on 2/11/13:  the intensity rating has just been upgraded to EF-4 by the NWS survey team.

If this event is of interest to you, please bookmark the post and check back over the coming days for new photos, videos and other updates as new information is revealed.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

The things you find online when you search your name!