A two pronged and significant severe weather event developed across the NWS Jackson Forecast Warning Area from the afternoon and evening of May 2nd into the morning hours of May 3rd. The first event occurred during the late afternoon through the over night of May 2nd as a few supercell storms tracked east across the northern portions of the area. These storms brought large hail, some up to the size of baseballs, along with damaging winds to some areas. Later in the night, these clusters of storms evolved into a line which produced scattered wind damage as it pushed east along and just north of I-20. An outflow boundary pushed out of this line and provided the focus for the second, more powerful and significant severe event.
Between 8 am and 1 pm, a Derecho evolved and raced east across the southern half of the forecast area at 60 to 70 mph. A Derecho is defined as a ling lived windstorm, usually a large bow echo, which has a width of 40 to 250 miles and covers a long distance, typically 1 to 3 states. This large bowing squall line brought intense straight line winds and widespread damage across its swath. Some of the wind speeds within this Derecho ranged between 80 and 95 mph. There were numerous reports of trees down as well as downed power lines, which caused widespread power outages in many locations. Many structures were damaged by either fallen trees or just the wind itself. Scattered reports of hail and a few tornadoes also occurred. One fatality occurred in Jones County as a tree fell through a woman’s mobile home.
Below is a preliminary look at regional storm reports from May 2-3.