Blog: Nice weather this Christmas, naughty in years past

This Christmas looks pretty nice compared to what happened in 2009 & 2012
12-24-19 Dec 25 2012 tornado
12-24-19 Dec 25 2012 tornado
Published: Dec. 24, 2019 at 12:26 PM CST
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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Christmas 2019 will be dry & mild for us with even some sunshine. Other than the possibility of patchy fog on Christmas morning, it should be rather nice and comfortable for any travel plans or any outdoor activities.

Still, I am hearing many complaints. “Oh, I’m disappointed that it’s too warm,” some have said about our Christmas high temperature forecast of 68 degrees. Someone even told me that they would break out into a sweat. Heavens!

Bah humbug! If that’s all you have to complain about, then consider yourselves lucky. Christmas of years past has brought quite naughty weather to South Mississippi.

12-24-19 severe weather ten years ago
12-24-19 severe weather ten years ago

Ten years ago on Christmas Eve 2009, severe weather struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And storm damage was even reported in Gulfport and Biloxi. Before hitting South Mississippi, this same round of severe thunderstorms hit southeast Louisiana, producing strong winds that knocked down several trees in the Baton Rouge area.

Even worse, just seven years ago, a strong tornado touched down right here in South Mississippi. With max wind speeds of 140 mph, it went on a 61-mile rampage through 5 counties, including Pearl River and Stone Counties. Below is information from local storm reports via the National Weather Service:

  • PEARL RIVER COUNTY - The tornado initially touched down on Harris Rd on the southwest side of McNeil, MS where it snapped several pine trees. It moved northeastward and rapidly intensified resulting in a small area of strong EF-2 and weak EF-3 damage along Joe Smith Rd and Sones Chapel Rd. The worst damage occurred when a single story brick veneer triplex dwelling was destroyed with only two small interior walls left standing. The tornado weakened after crossing Hwy 11, causing mainly tree and minor roof damage until it re-intensified in the far northeast corner of Pearl River County near Red Hill Church Rd. It caused strong EF-1 damage as it was leaving Pearl River County. County officials estimated 22 homes destroyed or not reparable, 8 homes with major damage, 16 homes with minor damage and an additional 9 homes affected. 8 people were transported by EMS to area hospitals, though additional minor injuries likely occurred. The tornado continued into Stone County.
  • STONE COUNTY - Tornado moved from northeast Pearl River County into extreme northwest Stone County causing significant damage to a few homes on Magnolia Road. It crossed Highway 26, snapping numerous pine trees in the Lake Tac-O-Leen Campground. The tornado continued northeast destroying a manufactured home on will lee road and heavily damaging several frame houses. A manufactured home was also rolled into a frame house. Emergency management also reported trees down on progress road before the tornado exited Stone County into Forrest, Perry, and Greene, Counties before lifting near McClain, MS.

You can view the full reports which include radar images as well as photos of tree & property damage:

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