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2019 sets new state record with 115 Mississippi tornadoes

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communication Inc.

2019 was a record year for severe weather in Mississippi. 

According to the National Weather Service, the state set a new record for tornadoes in a single year with 115. The previous record of 108 was set in 2008. The 2019 storms resulted in three fatalities and 48 injuries across the state.

No violent tornadoes (EF4 or EF5) occurred in 2019, but the following breakdown of the storms was provided by the NWS: 

EF0 – 28

EF1 – 63 

EF2 – 19 

EF3 – 5 

A bulk of the storms were produced in April as 67 storms were confirmed for the month with two severe weather events occurring on the 13th and the 18th. 

“The first event on the 13th occurred during the late afternoon and continued through the evening hours. Tornadoes, 19 in the state, formed within a squall line that moved across the region. Nine tornadoes in this event were rated EF2, contributing to almost half of the total for the year. Just five days later, a much more significant tornado outbreak occurred. As the line of thunderstorms moved east, it became very efficient at producing tornadoes due to the development of a mesoscale vortex that formed across Rankin and into Scott counties.” – NWS 

The 67 tornadoes that occurred in April ties 2011 as the most for the month since 1950. Both the April 13th and 18th events rank in the top ten for tornadoes during a severe weather event. April 13th ranked tenth and the 18th ranked second. The most tornadoes in a single event (44) occurred on September 24-25, 2005 as a result of Hurricane Rita.

The summer and fall months were quiet with little tornadic activity occurring, and while November is typically one of the state’s busiest months, just two were produced.

The NWS stated that a new record was set in December with 24 tornadoes. 17 occurred during a severe weather event on December 16th. 

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