National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

December 20th Tornadoes

A strong upper level weather system moved through the region during the morning of December 20th, causing widespread rain and thunderstorms across the area. Enough instability and moisture moved north out of the Gulf of Mexico to combine with this strong system to produce severe thunderstorms across the Highway 84 corridor. A severe storm rapidly intensified just to the west of Brookhaven around 9 am. This storm became a well-defined "bow echo" severe storm which moved along the Highway 84 corridor from Brookhaven to Prentiss to Laurel during the mid and late morning hours. "Bow echo" storms are mainly associated with strong straight line winds, but can also occasionally produce tornadoes. In this case, this storm produced 4 tornadoes across parts of Lincoln, Covington, and Jones counties, along with a number of reports of straight line wind damage.

Preliminary Damage Reports