An upper-level disturbance that approached the area from the plains states produced a squall line during the night in eastern Oklahoma, northeast Texas, and northwest Louisiana. This squall line accelerated southeastward and interacted with a surge of warm and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. As this squall line moved into east-central Louisiana and extreme southwest Mississippi, the line bowed out, indicative of strong winds aloft descending to the surface. This produced damaging winds and tornadoes along the squall line. Wind damage and hail was rather widespread along the path of this squall line. Most notable was a tornado that touched down in central Tangipahoa Parish near Amite and Independence (see figure 2). This tornado was responsible for one death in Independence as the tornado struck the LSU Lallie Kemp Hospital facility. It is uncertain if this was a single-track event or possibly multiple touch downs along the path of the parent storm. A NWS survey team investigated this area on Wednesday the 13th.
Other wind damage reports were received from most other parishes across southeast Louisiana and the adjacent Mississippi counties. Hail reports were common during the event and ranged from pea (one-quarter inch diameter) to hen egg (two inch diameter) sizes. Meanwhile, prior to the squall line sweeping across the area, other strong to severe thunderstorms formed well in advance of the line over Lafourche, central Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes. Several reports of funnel clouds and brief tornado touch downs were noted near Galliano (Lafourche Parish), Lafitte (Jefferson Parish) and Myrtle Grove (Plaquemines Parish along the Mississippi River) (see figure 1).
Click here for a full radar loop of the event.
Below is a summary collection of local storm reports that were received from various sources during and after the event.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA 501 PM CST WED FEB 13 2008 ..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 1235 PM HAIL 2 S MYRTLE GROVE 29.61N 89.95W 02/12/2008 E1.75 INCH PLAQUEMINES LA EMERGENCY MNGR GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED. 1240 PM TORNADO MYRTLE GROVE 29.64N 89.95W 02/12/2008 PLAQUEMINES LA EMERGENCY MNGR TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN OPEN FIELD. NO DAMAGE REPORTED. 1245 PM TSTM WND DMG CLINTON 30.86N 91.01W 02/12/2008 EAST FELICIANA LA LAW ENFORCEMENT SEVERAL TREES AND POWER LINES BLOWN DOWN IN VARIOUS AREAS OF PARISH 1256 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 S LIBERTY 31.13N 90.80W 02/12/2008 AMITE MS BROADCAST MEDIA HOUSE WITH ROOF DAMAGE. 0110 PM TSTM WND DMG GREENSBURG 30.83N 90.67W 02/12/2008 ST. HELENA LA EMERGENCY MNGR 80 TREES BLOWN DOWN IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS ACROSS THE PARISH. 0115 PM TSTM WND DMG SUMMIT 31.28N 90.47W 02/12/2008 PIKE MS EMERGENCY MNGR TREES ON HOUSE ON HWY. 51. 0123 PM TORNADO 8 E MCCOMB 31.24N 90.33W 02/12/2008 PIKE MS LAW ENFORCEMENT TORNADO BETWEEN HIGHWAYS 44 AND 570. 0123 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 ENE MCCOMB 31.26N 90.42W 02/12/2008 PIKE MS EMERGENCY MNGR ROOF OFF OF NORTH PIKE MIDDLE SCHOOL ON HIGHWAY 44. 0125 PM TORNADO 10 SW GREENSBURG 30.73N 90.79W 02/12/2008 ST. HELENA LA PUBLIC TORNADO SIGHTED WITH DEBRIS IN AIR JUST NORTH OF PINE GROVE. 0130 PM TSTM WND DMG PRAIRIEVILLE 30.30N 90.97W 02/12/2008 ASCENSION LA EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL TREES BLOWN DOWN IN SEVERAL LOCATIONS IN PRAIRIEVILLE AREA. 0145 PM TSTM WND DMG LIVINGSTON 30.50N 90.75W 02/12/2008 LIVINGSTON LA EMERGENCY MNGR PORTION OF ROOF PEELED OFF COMMERCIAL BUSINESS. 0145 PM TORNADO 1 S INDEPENDENCE 30.62N 90.51W 02/12/2008 F1 TANGIPAHOA LA NWS STORM SURVEY *** 1 FATAL *** NWS GROUND SURVEY INDICATES A WEAK TORNADO INITIALLY TOUCHED DOWN NEAR LALLIE KEMP HOSPITAL TURNING AN UNOCCUPIED MOBILE HOME ON ITS SIDE...PEELED A PORTION OF THE ROOF OF A NEARBY BUILDING. SEVERAL AUTOMOBILES WERE SHIFTED AND THEIR WINDOWS WERE BLOWN OUT. ONE FATALITY OCCURRED WHEN A 51 YEAR OLD WOMAN AND WAS THROWN INTO A VEHICLE IN THE PARKING LOT. THE TORNADO CIRCULATION CONTINUED EASTWARD FOR ABOUT A MILE PRODUCING INTERMITTENT DAMAGE PRIMARILY TO TREES. 0150 PM TSTM WND DMG ROBERT 30.51N 90.34W 02/12/2008 TANGIPAHOA LA EMERGENCY MNGR TREES AND POWER LINES WERE BLOWN DOWN. 0150 PM TSTM WND DMG 10 ENE LIVINGSTON 30.56N 90.59W 02/12/2008 LIVINGSTON LA EMERGENCY MNGR THUNDERSTORM WINDS OR POSSIBLE TORNADO DOWNED SEVERAL TREES NORTH OF COMMUNITY OF HOLDEN. TREES FELL ON AUTOMOBILE AND HOUSE. TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. 0153 PM HAIL HAMMOND 30.51N 90.46W 02/12/2008 E0.50 INCH TANGIPAHOA LA BROADCAST MEDIA WIDESPREAD REPORTS OF MARBLE SIZE HAIL. 0206 PM TSTM WND DMG CROSSROADS 30.78N 89.77W 02/12/2008 PEARL RIVER MS LAW ENFORCEMENT TREES DOWN. 0220 PM TORNADO 4 W NORCO 30.00N 90.48W 02/12/2008 ST. CHARLES LA EMERGENCY MNGR A COUPLE PATROL OFFICERS SIGHTED A TORNADO NEAR MONTZ. 0226 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 NNW COVINGTON 30.52N 90.13W 02/12/2008 ST. TAMMANY LA LAW ENFORCEMENT TREE DOWN ON CAR FROM WINDS ESTIMATED AT 35 TO 40 MPH ALONG WITH HAIL OF UNKNOWN SIZE. NO INJURIES REPORTED. LOCATION WAS ON FITZGERALD CHURCH ROAD NEAR HWY. 25 AND MILLION DOLLAR ROAD. 0240 PM TSTM WND DMG POPLARVILLE 30.84N 89.53W 02/12/2008 PEARL RIVER MS LAW ENFORCEMENT SHERIFFS OFFICE REPORTED MANY TREES DOWN ON I-59 FROM POPLARVILLE TO HILLSDALE EXIT, AND SEVERAL LARGE TREES BLOWN DOWN ON U.S. HIGHWAY 11 NORTH OF PICAYUNE. 0242 PM TSTM WND GST 4 NNE NEW ORLEANS 30.02N 90.06W 02/12/2008 M68.00 MPH ORLEANS LA ASOS METAR OBSERVATION FROM LAKEFRONT AIRPORT - KNEW. 0245 PM WATER SPOUT 2 NE METAIRIE 30.02N 90.15W 02/12/2008 JEFFERSON LA EMERGENCY MNGR WATERSPOUT REPORTED OVER LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN ABOUT 100 YARDS OFFSHORE FROM FOOT OF CAUSEWAY BRIDGE. 0245 PM TSTM WND DMG EAST NEW ORLEANS 30.07N 89.93W 02/12/2008 ORLEANS LA BROADCAST MEDIA SEVERAL TREES BLOWN DOWN ON I-10 SERVICE ROAD BETWEEN REED AND BULLARD AVE. 0300 PM TSTM WND DMG TERRYTOWN 29.90N 90.03W 02/12/2008 JEFFERSON LA EMERGENCY MNGR STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS PEELED OFF PART OF ROOF OF CONVENIENCE STORE. 0317 PM HAIL 5 S HOUMA 29.51N 90.71W 02/12/2008 E2.00 INCH TERREBONNE LA NWS EMPLOYEE 2 INCH HAIL REPORTED WITH GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL COVERING THE GROUND. 0345 PM TSTM WND DMG VANCLEAVE 30.54N 88.67W 02/12/2008 JACKSON MS EMERGENCY MNGR SPORADIC TREES BLOWN DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY FROM 345 PM TO 430 PM. 0348 PM MARINE TSTM WIND 1 SSE GRAND ISLE CMAN 29.26N 89.96W 02/12/2008 M42.00 MPH JEFFERSON LA C-MAN STATION 0400 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 E WADE 30.64N 88.54W 02/12/2008 JACKSON MS EMERGENCY MNGR SPORADIC TREES BLOWN DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY. 0406 PM TSTM WND GST BOOTHVILLE 29.32N 89.40W 02/12/2008 M58.00 MPH PLAQUEMINES LA ASOS METAR OBSERVATION AT BOOTHVILLE/KBVE MEASURED PEAK WIND FROM 290 DEGREES AT 50 KNOTS. 0430 PM MARINE TSTM WIND 20 S GULF PARK ESTATES 30.09N 88.78W 02/12/2008 M40.00 MPH GMZ555 LA BUOY 0454 PM MARINE TSTM WIND 24 S VENICE 28.93N 89.41W 02/12/2008 M44.00 MPH PLAQUEMINES LA C-MAN STATION 0600 PM MARINE TSTM WIND 64 E VENICE 29.18N 88.29W 02/12/2008 M60.00 MPH GMZ575 XX BUOY
Figure 1. WSR-88D radar image from Slidell, LA at 12:09 p.m. CST. Note a severe thunderstorm that possibly produced tornadoes in the vicinity of Lafitte (Jefferson Parish), approaching the Myrtle Grove area in Plaquemines Parish. Tornadoes were sighted with this storm but damage was minimal, mostly confined to open marshes. A tornado warning was in effect (red polygon) for this storm.
Figure 2. WSR-88D radar image from Slidell, LA at 1:49 CST, Feb 12, 2008. This is the approximate time the tornado was moving across Independence (Tangipahoa Parish). The polygons indicate NWS warnings that were in effect at the time of this image.