Two tornadoes touched down in Lawrence County Monday

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

TOPEKA — A pair of tornadoes touched down in Lawrence County during severe storms early Monday morning. In the storm’s wake, thousands of residents were left without power, trees blocked roads and one family lost their homes. 

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported one Lawrence County man was injured in the storms. He was freed by Lawrence County and Monticello Firefighters. 

NWS Jackson reports both tornadoes in Lawrence County were EF1s in a preliminary report. There were strong winds from a thunderstorm in the southern part of Lawrence County which caused damage to homes. No tornado warning was issued. 

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Pair of tornadoes

The first tornado touched down at 3:32 a.m. on Holmesville Road and was on the ground for a minute. Its maximum wind speed reached 100 mph and traveled 0.51 miles with a maximum width of 280 yards. 

The NWS tornado survey reports the brief tornado touched down just west of Holmesville Road and damaged Calvary United Church then quickly dissipated east of the road. NWS states the tornado developed on the north side of an intense downburst and wind swath as a “brief spin-up.” 

The second tornado touched down near Renfroe Roads at 3:37 a.m and lasted a minute. It traveled 0.79 miles and had a maximum width of 230 yards. NWS Jackson stated the tornado was brief and touched down just west of Renfroe Road and Gaskin Lane. The tornado developed on the northern side of a downburst. It had maximum wind speeds of 95 mph. 

Numerous trees were uprooted, snapped and blown down in a convergent pattern. 

Thunderstorm downburst

A thunderstorm downburst in Jayess produced a wind swath that was 4.02 miles long with a maximum width of 5,720 yards and an estimated peak wind of 105 mph. 

NWS reports this wind swath started at 3:31 a.m. and ended at 3:37 a.m. Monday. The downburst started between China Grove Road and Holmesville Road. 

On Robert Tynes Road, a thunderstorm downburst produced a wind swath 2.15 miles long and a maximum width of 5,600 yards. The Lawrence County man was injured in this downburst and wind speeds reached a peak of 100 mph. Strong winds started at 3:35 a.m. and ended by 3:41 a.m. Monday. 

NWS reports the downburst began in the MS27 portion of southern Lawrence County near Robert Tynes, Divide and Renfroe Roads. Trees were uprooted, snapped and multiple power lines were downed. The most intense action of the downburst occurred at Robert Tynes, Calvin Rutland Roads and Armstrong Circle.