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Detailed surveys were completed by the National Weather Service in Shreveport, Louisiana on the 28 tornadoes (36 tornadic events) that occurred on Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000. A tornado that crosses a county or parish line is considered two separate tornadic events for record keeping purposes. The tornado outbreak began at 2:41 PM CDT in northwest Red River County in northeast Texas and ended at Jena, Louisiana at 10:00 PM CDT. Use the following links to find a track map of all of the 36 tornado tracks and each tornado's Fujita scale (F-Scale) rating.
The tornadic thunderstorms which moved through the Four State Area on Easter Sunday, started out as a line of thunderstorms ahead of a cold front moving in from Oklahoma. As the line approached the area, a few of the thunderstorms intensified becoming supercell type thunderstorms. A supercell thunderstorm is a long-lived storm which contains a rotating updraft as part of the structure of the storm. These are very strong, well developed severe thunderstorms and are the type of storms which produced the tornadoes which moved through the area.
Most of the tornadoes were spawned by six (6) supercell thunderstorms, with a few other thunderstorms producing isolated, but damaging tornadoes. One of these exceptions was the tornado which passed through downtown Shreveport. This tornado (storm 6) started as a waterspout over Cross Lake then became a true tornado as it moved onto land. The thunderstorm which produced this tornado was from a second line of thunderstorms which developed over the area behind the first line of storms.
In this tornado outbreak the storms generally tracked from the west-northwest toward the east-southeast. Most of the damage tracks were short in length, but four (4) of the tornadoes were on the ground for long tracks. These were:
Another track of special interest was from Cross Lake to downtown Shreveport to Bossier City, LA (8 miles.)
Some of the larger cities and towns directly affected by a tornado on April 23rd included:
What follows is a brief description of each of the six different thunderstorms and the tornadoes they produced. This is not complete but does represent a good overview of the storms and a few details please refer to the track map for the plotted storm paths).
Developed in McCurtain County, Oklahoma and moved into southwest Arkansas through Sevier, Howard and Hempstead Counties. Damage noted in or near Idabel and Broken Bow in McCurtain County (F2) . . . near DeQueen in Sevier County (F1) . . . near Nashville and Mineral Springs in Howard County (F1) and near DeAnn in Hempstead County (F0).
Developed in Red River County, Texas with damage in extreme northwest portion of the county (F2). It moved over Bowie County, Texas and Miller County, Arkansas with no known touch downs. As it moved into Lafayette County in Arkansas it produced a tornado which moved from near Pleasant Hill to near Bradley (F1).
Developed over Titus County, Texas, northeast of Mr. Pleasant, moving through Morris and Cass Counties in Texas and into Louisiana over northern Caddo, Bossier, and Webster Parishes, ending in western Claiborne Parish. Damage noted northeast of Mt. Pleasant, Texas (F2), north of Omaha and Naples in Morris County (F2), with more intense damage in Cass County (F3) from Marietta to Douglasville. In Louisiana, damage noted from the north side of Vivian to near Hosston in Caddo Parish (F1), in Bossier Parish from between Benton and Plain Dealing across much of the rest of the Parish (F2), across much of Webster Parish with the north side of Minden sustaining damage (F2) before finally lifting just short of the Webster and Claiborne Parish line east of Minden. The track of this tornado appears to be 35 to 40 miles long and had an extremely wide damage path, in some cases as much as 4 to 5 miles wide from winds associated with the thunderstorm and tornado.
Was developing over Gregg and Upshur Counties in northeast Texas and then moved into Harrison County where the tornado first touched down near Harleton then moved towards and through Marshall (F2) where it lifted near Waskom. It appears a second tornado them touched down on or near the state line between Greenwood and Bethany, Louisiana. It continued on across the south side of Shreveport crossing U.S. 171 at Stagecoach Road on to the Southern Trace subdivision and crossed the Red River north of Caspiana (F2). Moving into Bossier Parish, it crossed U.S. 71 near Atkins and then lifted south of Lake Bistineau (F3). Once the tornado touched down near the state line, it was nearly continuously on the ground for 35 to 40 miles. A third tornado then touched down and moved through Castor in Bienville Parish, leaving much of the business section heavily damaged (F2).
The first tornado produced by this thunderstorm first touched down in Panola County, Texas with only minor damage (F1). The storm then moved into DeSoto Parish, Louisiana with damage noted on the north side of Mansfield and north of Rambin (F1). The storm moved on across southern Red River Parish (F1) and into Natchitoches Parish (F3) where it lifted near Campti. This storm took one last swipe at the area when it produced a short-lived tornado that touched down in Jena in LaSalle Parish before ending (F2).
This is the secondary thunderstorm which formed behind the supercells which passed through earlier. This thunderstorm produced a waterspout over Cross Lake which then moved eastward and became a tornado as it moved onto land and then on through downtown Shreveport crossing the Red River in Bossier City (F1).
Additional details can be obtained by contacting the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport, Louisiana - (318) 631-3669.