Radar perspective: Mississippi tornado emergency from March 24

Meteorologist Jonathan Kegges discusses deadly tornado

ORLANDO, Fla. – Several tornadoes tore through parts of the Deep South Friday night into Saturday morning. One tornado in particular was extremely violent and was responsible for destruction from the Louisiana/Mississippi border all the way into Northern Alabama.

The first tornado warning was issued just before 9:00 p.m. as the parent supercell thunderstorm crossed the Mississippi River into Mississippi.

Rolling Fork Tornado

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Radar detected debris after the violent tornado moved through Rolling Fork. A tornado emergency was in effect prior to the storm moving through. A tornado emergency is a level up from a tornado warning.

A tornado debris signature (blue) was evident on radar indicating damaging was being detected. The yellow cylinder is the radar technology pinpointing the rotation. The gray cylinder is the computer detecting debris.

A tornado warning means that a tornado is in progress or is imminent. A tornado emergency is issued when a confirmed, violent tornado is in progress and is moving toward a population.

Debris at times was lofted higher than 30,000 feet. Radar showed debris raining down on towns downwind of the actual tornado.

The yellow dot under the yellow cylinder represents debris associated with the tornado itself. The circled area is the radar seeing debris fall back down to the ground after being lofted up from the tornado.

Another extremely pronounced tornado debris signature (blue) was detected prior to moving through Amory.

Tornado debris signature

Wind detection showed extremely violent rotation during the same time.


The tornado icons below from south of Huntsville back to the Mississippi represent the reported tornadoes spawned by the same parent supercell thunderstorm.

Tornado reports from 3/24/2023 into the morning of 3/25/2023

Some of the reports from Amory, south of Tupelo, have yet to come in, but radar confirms that the violent tornado was in progress through the town.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.