The National Weather Service reported Tuesday that completed damage assessments revealed six counties were impacted by five tornadoes Sunday afternoon and evening including Marion, Lawrence, Lamar, Forrest, Perry and Wayne.
The first tornado, an EF-1 with 95 mph winds, was confirmed to have touched down in Lawrence County, just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday, tracking 1.6 miles across the Arm area. Along this tornado's 140-yard-wide path, multiple trees were uprooted and downed with four homes damaged.
A long-lasting supercell thunderstorm would later produce two strong and long-tracked tornadoes.
The first of these two tornadoes was confirmed to have touched down around 4:25 p.m. Sunday in Marion County, 11 miles south southwest of the city of Columbia.
This EF-2 tornado with 120 mph winds tracked 19 miles to 10 miles east southeast of Columbia in Lamar County. Along the tornado's 400-yard-wide path, outbuildings and mobile homes were destroyed with several other homes sustaining major roof damage. Multiple trees and power lines were also downed and or uprooted.
The second and most significant tornado with the supercell, touched down a short time later, 8.5 miles north northwest of Purvis in Lamar County, just after 5 p.m. Sunday.
This EF-4 tornado with winds up to 170 mph would go on to cause devastating damage, according to the NWS, along a three-quarter-mile-wide path of up to 21 miles long, spanning Lamar, Forrest and Perry counties.
Along this tornado's extensive path, hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed including buildings on the University of Southern Mississippi campus and athletic facilities at Oak Grove and Hattiesburg high schools. Dozens and dozens of trees and power lines were also toppled, uprooted and snapped.
NWS said two other more brief tornadoes hit Wayne County as a supercell thunderstorm passed through this area.
The first of these tornadoes was estimated to have touched down 4.8 miles southwest of the town of Clara around 7 p.m. Sunday. This EF-1 tornado with winds between 86 and 110 mph, was found to have tracked 6.69 miles. Along the tornado's 80-yard-wide path, several homes received minor to major damage with multiple trees uprooted and or snapped.
The last tornado would touch down a short time later at 7:14 p.m. Sunday, tracking 3.16 miles southwest of the town of Denham. Also an EF-1 tornado with winds of 86 to 110 mph, this tornado would cause damage to several homes and snap and uproot numerous trees along its 200-yard-wide path.
Emergency manager officials said at least 87 people were injured in the tornadoes but luckily no fatalities were reported.
An approaching cold front, an unusually high amount of wind shear and sufficient instability, combined with an unusually warm airmass in place, to result in the outbreak of tornadoes.