March 11, 2010 Scott County Tornadoes
During the evening hours of March 10th, scattered shower and thunderstorm activity developed over east central Mississippi in association with a warm front. Large hail was reported in Newton and Neshoba counties with these storms. There was also flash flooding in Kemper County as storms trained over the same area for several hours. As the first cluster of storms moved into Alabama, there was a bit of a lull in convective activity over the ArkLaMiss region.
However, additional thunderstorms were developing farther to the west over Texas, western Arkansas, and western Louisiana ahead of an approaching cold front. These storms produced multiple tornadoes in the state of Arkansas, including one deadly tornado, but they began to weaken as they approached the Mississippi River. In their wake, new thunderstorms developed over western Mississippi. Few damage reports were received as these storms moved through the I-55 corridor and the Jackson metropolitan area. However, one particular storm strengthened as it moved into Scott County. This storm produced two tornadoes north of Forest near the Hillsboro community. It also produced straight-line wind damage across portions of Scott and Newton counties before weakening as it approached Meridian.
Storm Survey Information
Max Wind Speed
|Path Length||Path Width|
5.5 NE Morton to 2 WNW Hillsboro
32.419 N, 89.58 W to 32.463 N, 89.513 W
|3:05 am -
|0||5.5 mi||400 yds|
5 WSW Hillsboro to 3.7 W Hillsboro
32.447 N, 89.562 W to 32.458 N, 89.547 W
|3:09 am -
|0||1.25 mi||250 yds|
The tornado started in the Bienville National Forest, just to the southwest of Federal Road 508A. As it crossed the road, it snapped and uprooted large numbers of pine trees. This was where the tornado reached its maximum intensity and width. The tornado continued northeast, crossing Clifton Road. The tornado was narrower and somewhat weaker here, but was still topping numerous pine trees and uprooting several hardwood trees. The tornado then continued northeast and crossed Clifton Hillsboro Road. Numerous trees were downed near a home along this road, and fences were damaged in a field behind the home. Several large pine trees were downed across the road, and powerlines were downed as well. The tornado continued northeast as it weakened, downing a few trees and damaging a carport before diminishing at Hillsboro Ludlow Road.
The same parent supercell thunderstorm spawned a second path of tornadic damage to the northwest of the first tornado. This tornado started along Clifton Road, where a number of pine trees were topped and several others were snapped or uprooted. The tornado tracked northeast across Tadpole Road, where numerous trees were snapped and uprooted, including several large hardwood trees downed across the road itself. The tornado dissipated as it crossed Clifton Hillsboro Road.
Scott County Straight-line Wind Damage
Bienville National Forest, south of Hillsboro
A path of sporadic straight line wind damage, likely associated with the rear flank downdraft of the parent supercell thunderstorm, was observed south of the tornadic damage. This damage started just east of Highway 13 in Bienville National Forest, and sporadic tree and limb damage was noted a couple of miles south of the path of the southern tornado as it moved across Scott County.
Click on a thumbnail for the full resolution image.
These images from the Brandon, MS doppler radar show the tornadic thunderstorm at 3:09 am on March 11th. At this particular time, two tornadoes were on the ground. The image on the left shows 0.5° base reflectivity data, and the image on the right shows 0.5° storm relative velocity data. Note the inflow notch just south and west of Hillsboro (seen on the base reflectivity image as the area of lower reflectivity jutting into the storm), which coincides with a strong mesocyclone (seen on the storm relative velocity image as the area of strong inbound velocity - the brighter green colors - immediately next to an area of strong outbound velocity - the brighter red colors). Click on the thumbnail below for a higher resolution image.
Click here to view a radar animation of the tornadic storm as it moved across Scott County.
A Tornado Watch was issued for Scott County effective at 7:25pm on March 10th until 2am on the 11th. Shortly after 1:30am, the watch was extended until 9am. A Tornado Warning was issued for portions of Scott County at 2:56am effective until 3:45am. This yielded a 9 to 16 minute lead time for the first tornado and 13 to 15 minute lead time for the second tornado. In the warning text, Hillsboro was specifically mentioned as an area in the path of the tornado.