Tornadoes raked through parts of southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2013.
Hardest hit was the city of Hattiesburg, Miss. (2010 population 51,993) when a large tornado roared through the west and north sides of town around 5:15 p.m. CST, heavily damaging some buildings on the Univ. of Southern Mississippi campus.
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A one-hour radar loop from the Jackson, Miss. National Weather Service Doppler radar starting at 4:24 p.m. CST is shown below.
Radar reflectivity (left) and Doppler storm-relative velocity (right) images from NWS-Jackson, MS Doppler radar from 4:24 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. CST Feb. 10, 2013. Hattiesburg is shown by yellow box.
The parent supercell responsible for the destruction first spawned a tornado near the town of Pickwick, Miss., at 4:28 p.m. CST, damaging homes and injuring at least 5, according to initial reports.
View hattiesburg warnings in a larger map
An interactive map of NWS tornado warning polygons issued while this supercell was first west-southwest, then over the city of Hattiesburg, Miss. is shown above, courtesy of the Iowa State University Dept. of Agronomy.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, Miss. issued their first tornado warning for parts of Marion County, including Pickwick, at 4:11 p.m., 17 minutes before the tornado struck areas near Pickwick.
While not for Hattiesburg and Forrest County, this warning was just over an hour before the storm crossed Interstate 59 into the city of Hattiesburg.
A second tornado warning was issued for Lamar County as far east as Interstate 59, including West Hattiesburg, at 4:42 p.m.
Fifteen minutes later, at 4:57 p.m., a tornado warning was issued for the city of Hattiesburg, upgraded to a "tornado emergency", as multiple spotters tracked the tornado.
A tornadic debris signature appeared on the NWS-Mobile, Ala. dual-polarization radar after the tornado tracked through Hattiesburg and the adjacent city of Petal. This signature of lofted tornado debris could be tracked at least into Greene County, Miss. and may have persisted into Washington County, Ala.
View Tornadoes Feb. 10, 2013 in a larger map
An interactive map of tornado reports is shown above. Click on the tornado symbol to read each report.
Rotation associated with parent supercell responsible for the Hattiesburg tornado was trackable on Doppler radar for roughly 3 hours from south-central Mississippi into Clarke County, Ala.
An additional supercell damaged homes near Grove Hill, Ala. before the Hattiesburg supercell arrived in Clarke County later.
The NWS will conduct storm surveys Monday to rate the intensity of each tornado. Given the distinct radar rotation signature, spotter reports, and tornado warnings with significant lead time, it's no doubt lives were saved.
Sunday's tornadoes were eerily close to the tornadoes on Christmas Day, 2012.
MORE ON WUNDERGROUND.COM: SOUTHERN TORNADO PHOTOS
This photo provided by Jordan Holliman shows a tornado moving through Hattiesburg, Miss., Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. Major damage was reported in Hattiesburg and Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. (AP Photo/Jordan Holliman)