The 2/16/01 Starkville Storm

This Friday afternoon storm, the result of a frontal system passing through the area, brought with it an interesting aspect of severe weather meteorology, what we term a "bow echo".  Bow echoes are where part of a squall line starts pushing out ahead of the rest of the line.  A simple explanation is because of wind flow into and out of those particular cells, and what this causes is those cells pushing out ahead very rapidly.  Bow echoes, besides causing very heavy downbursts and wind gusts, tend to be self-sustaining.  The storm that hit Starkville had its beginnings in northern Louisiana.  As the squall line pushed east, it caused sporadic damage, except for a tornado near Durant, MS which caused one fatality.  As the squall line approached the Starkville area, the northern section started taking on bow echo characteristics, and began rapidly moving east, causing very heavy winds and some significant areas of damage, mostly to Starkville and western Lowndes County.  Some unofficial wind gusts were estimated at over 80 MPH, and the storm itself, moving extremely fast, covered the distance between Starkville and the Atlanta area in just 3 1/2 hours!

In addition to the wind, there were reports of 1 inch hail in both Tuscaloosa County and near Bessemer as the bow echo passed.

These pictures are of damage in the Starkville area, and are courtesy of Trey Breckenridge of Mississippi State.  Many thanks to Trey for allowing me to post these pictures here.

2/16/01 Storm Survey, from a message from NWS Jackson, including confirmed wind speeds.

South Montgomery St.

Airport Area

School Damage

Apartment Damage

Other Building Damage

Other Area Damage


Damage pictures for the 12/16/00 Dalewood tornado
See some Weather Pics

Page last modified 31 December, 2003