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Christmas Severe Outbreak: Tornadoes and Storm Reports

By Jon Erdman
Published: December 21, 2013

View Tornado Reports Christmas 2012 in a larger map

Severe thunderstorms raked across the Deep South on Christmas Day 2012 in what was the most prolific Christmas Day tornado outbreak on record in the U.S.

(MORE:  News/photos/video)

The National Weather Service confirmed at least 28 Christmas Day tornadoes from this outbreak. An additional two tornado reports were received from the day after Christmas in eastern North Carolina.

Two EF3 tornadoes were confirmed, one traveling 61 miles from Pearl River County, Miss. to Greene County, Miss. The other EF3 tornado touched down in Houston County, Texas. Only one other tornado on record has been rated this strong on Christmas Day.

We have all the tornado reports plotted in the clickable map above. Here are some of the most notable damage reports:

  • Pearl River County, Miss.:  EF3 tornado injured 8 people and cause destroyed 22 homes.
  • Houston County, Texas:  EF3 tornado damaged or destroyed several buildings near Pennington.
  • Tioga, La.:  EF2 tornado with 4 mile long path; 43 homes, high school damaged
  • Alexandria, La.:  EF2 tornado with 2 mile long path
  • Centreville, Miss.:  EF1 tornado heavily damaged more than a dozen structures.
  • Near Monticello, Miss.:  EF2 tornado damage confirmed.
  • Near Maxie, Miss.:  Major structural damage, 4 injuries
  • Mobile, Ala.:  Preliminary EF1 tornado damages as many as 100 structures, including high school, infirmary
  • Wilmer, Ala.:  Few homes and trailers damaged

Dating to 1950, these are the only Christmas Day tornadoes on record in both Mississippi and Alabama! This marked the first time on record Mobile, Ala. was hit by two different tornadoes in a span of less than one week. An EF1 tornado damaged parts of the city just five days before Christmas Day 2012.

According to Severe Weather Expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, dating to 1950, prior to Christmas 2012...

  • Christmas Days with tornadoes somewhere in the U.S.:  8
  • Total Christmas Day U.S. tornadoes:  32 tornadoes in 6 states (La., Tenn., Ga., Fla., N.C., W.V.)
  • Largest Christmas Day outbreak:  12 tornadoes in Fla., Ga., La. in 1969
  • Costliest Christmas Day outbreak:  $33 million in 2006
  • Only deadly tornado:  1969 (Louisiana)

MORE ON WEATHER.COM - Christmas 2012 Tornadoes

Maxie, Ms.

Maxie, Ms.

The Jackson, MS. office of the National Weather Service snapped this photo of storm damage in Maxie, Ms.

  • Maxie, Ms.
  • Tioga, La.
  • Tioga, La.
  • Alexandria, La.

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