A significant severe weather outbreak hit the Lower Mississippi Valley Friday night. There are 4 counties with a total of 26 fatalities. Two of the hardest hit towns were Silver City and Rolling Fork MS, where the hospital sustained some damage. The tornado crossed I-55 and headed into Winona. A rare Tornado Emergency was declared Debris lofted to 22,000 feet – that’s over 4 miles! This looks like an EF4 tornado with peak winds between 166 and 200 mph.

Golfball-sized hail at Oxford and Benoit MS. More than a dozen reports of thunderstorm wind damage…a 58 mph gust at the Memphis TN airport.

The Storm Prediction Center issued a Moderate Risk Area (in red on the map above) for SE Arkansas, NE Louisiana and NW Mississippi. Surrounding the Moderate Risk is an Enhanced Outlook Area (in orange on the map above). That was surrounded by a Slight Risk Area (in yellow on the map above) that comes up to the Ohio River. That was surrounded by a Marginal Outlook (in dark green on the map above) that covers much of Southern Indiana. This was a good forecast.

Probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point. Hatched Area is at least a 10% chance of a strong tornado (EF2 and above) within 25 miles of a given point. That’s where the strong tornadoes occurred.

SPC said: ***Tornado Outbreak Possible Across Portions of the Mid Mississippi Valley Friday Evening*** “An outbreak of severe weather is expected from the Lower Mississippi Valley toward the lower Ohio Valley Friday afternoon and evening. Tornadoes, strong to potentially intense, as well as damaging winds and hail are expected.

Here was the first Tornado Watch of the day

Climate notes: So far the month of March is averaging 0.4° warmer than average (very close to average). We’ve had 2.08″ of precipitation and that’s 0.39″ above average. We’ve also had 22.4″ of snow and we’re up to 109.2″ for the season – that’s the 3rd snowiest winter ever in G.R. The warmest temp. this month has been 53°. Only 6 of the last 30 Marches have not had at least one 60° day. We’ve also officially had no thunderstorms this month. The average wind speed has been 10.5 mph.