Monday, February 11, 2013

Northern Blizzard, Southern Tornadoes

Surface map at 6:00 a.m. February 10.
While most attention this weekend was focused on the aftermath of the northeastern snowstorm, Mother Nature was not taking the weekend off. An intense storm system spinning over the Central Plains produced blizzard conditions and a swath of 12 to 18 inches of snow from central South Dakota through west-central Minnesota.  Severe thunderstorms erupting ahead of cold front trailing from the low dropped tornadoes on southern Mississippi, including an EF4 in Hattiesburg.

The snowstorm in the Central Plains shut down road travel in much of eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota as the heavy snow was whipped around by 30 to 40 mph winds. High winds in the wake of the storm caused blowing snow that kept some roads closed through this morning, including parts of Interstate 94.  Some of the two-day snowfall amounts reported by CoCoRaHS observers include:

18.3              SD-DY-9     Webster 8.6 NW 
17.5              MN-OT-6     Pelican Rapids 6.3 NNW
17.0              MN-OT-3     Battle Lake 2S 
13.6              SD-CD-5      Watertown 7.5 NNE
12.5              ND-CS-32     Durbin 5.4 WNW 
12.1              ND-RC-8      Abercrombie 0.2 NW
12.0              SD-DG-2       Armour 4.6 W 

Severe storms rolled through western Mississippi during Sunday morning. As the cold front began to stall later in the day, supercell thunderstorms developed in the warm, unstable air east of the cold front aided by strong wind shear.  The first tornado touched down in Lawrence County, MS shortly before 4:00 p.m.  This tornado lifted after moving through Marion and Lamar Counties. Soon after, however, this same parent thunderstorm spawned the tornado that moved through Hattiesburg. This EF4 tornado caused major damage in Hattiesburg.  There were a total of 87 people injured from these storms, but fortunately there were no fatalities.For the latest updates on this severe weather, including maps, radar images, and damage information visit the NWS Jackson, MS web page.

In addition to the tornadoes, the thunderstorms also produced heavy rain and flash flooding from Mississippi into Alabama. CoCoRaHS observers reported 5 to 6 inches of rain in the Hattiesburg areaCoCoRaHS observers in Wayne County, MS reported 6 to 7.5 inches of rain, with MS-WY-2 recording a 24-hour total of 7.50 inches and the observer at MS-WY-1 reporting 6.34 inches.

Precipitation map from the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service


  1. Don't stop counting the southern rain! It's STILL raining, and will continue to do so until Thursday! The skeeters and bugs never did die this winter and are starting up full force. I even heard a tree frog begging for the rain to stop yesterday! We're at 5.5+ in Montgomery AL and STILL raining. And DARK DARK DARK....THICK cloud deck.

  2. and from 7am-1pm today (Tuesday) add another inch....and it is still raining....