MWN Lightning Round: Mid-South twisters, raining mud, and BSMF weather

The Lightning Round of weather returns today with a look at three interesting and important topics related to Mid-South weather.  First up…

April 28 Tornadoes

The National Weather Service has completed surveys of three Mid-South tornadoes that occurred on Monday, April 28 as severe weather swept through the region.

The first occurred before 7am, embedded within the morning squall line, right here in Shelby County. An EF-0 w/ wind of 75-80 mph struck the Bolton community causing roof and tree damage. A Tornado Warning was issued for that storm as the first children were arriving to area schools, sending them straight to their tornado positions upon arrival at school.

The second, and most publicized, occurred in the mid-afternoon hours, striking the city of Tupelo with 150 mph wind. The fast-moving EF-3 tornado was long-tracked, lasting 26 minutes and covering 24 miles. There was one fatality that has not been confirmed as a direct result of the tornado, as well as at least 40 injuries.

Tupelo, MS gas station after tornado moved over the town. Photo credit NWS-Memphis

The last twister occurred west of Union City during the late afternoon hours when most attention was focused tornadic supercells in central MS.  An EF-2 with max wind of 130 mph crossed from Obion Co., TN into Fulton Co, KY. It moved a 700 lb weight 15 feet and bent a steel trailer.  More information on all of these storms, as well as additional damage pictures, can be found on the NWS-Memphis website.

Raining mud!

Mid-Southerners were surprised to see a dirty residue on their vehicles after light rain fell on Tuesday. After some research, we discovered that dust storms in the Plains were to blame! The dust was lofted high into the atmosphere and carried east on strong upper-level wind, then deposited as it fell into clouds and light rain over the Mid-South. When the sprinkles evaporated, the dirt was left behind! If you missed it, we wrote a more detailed blog on the topic Tuesday afternoon.

Beale Street Music Festival weather

Staying on the topic of mud… Mother Nature’s calendar must be really messed up as it appears she forgot to schedule rain for this weekend’s typically-muddy Beale Street Music Festival! In fact, the weather really couldn’t be much better. No rain, actually very little cloud cover, is expected throughout the weekend with temperatures climbing from the lower 70s today to the upper 70s Saturday to the mid 80s by Sunday. One thing you may not have needed at many other music fests in recent history that will be a necessity this weekend? Sunscreen. Let’s hope the weather is as good in 2 weeks for the BBQ Contest as well as the following weekend for the Sunset Symphony!

We hope everyone has planned some outdoor activities for this great spring weekend in Memphis, TN!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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