January 21–23, 1999 tornado outbreak

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January 21–23, 1999 tornado outbreak
LR199trdamage.JPG
A home destroyed by the F3 Little Rock, Arkansas tornado
Date(s) January 21–23, 1999
Duration ~2 days
Tornadoes caused 127 confirmed
Maximum rated tornado F4 (Fujita scale)
Damages $90.5 million
Casualties 9 fatalities, 162 injuries

From January 18–23, 1999, the largest tornado outbreak on record during January took place across the Mississippi River Valley. Over the course of roughly two days, 127 tornadoes touched down across the region, resulting in widespread damage. Nine people were killed by the tornadoes. The outbreak is best known for an F3 that struck Little Rock, Arkansas, killing 3 people.

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
68 36 13 9 1 0 127

January 21 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Arkansas
F1 S of Lerch Lafayette 2110 9 miles
(15 km)
Little damage reported, primarily to trees.
F0 N of Cornelius Lafayette 2133 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained in woodlands. Roads were blocked by trees but no buildings were damaged.
F0 NE of Lerch Lafayette 2138 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained in woodlands. No damage.
F0 S of Genoa Miller 2145 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Tornado track remained in unpopulated farmlands.
F2 SE of Naylor Faulkner, White 2157 10 miles
(16 km)
Two manufactured homes were destroyed, along with two hay barns. The roof of a church was also damaged. Seven people were injured.
F1 S of Princeton (1st tornado) Dallas 2229 7 miles
(11 km)
Damage limited to many trees along its path.
F3 S of Princeton (2nd tornado) Dallas 2229 11 miles
(17 km)
Powerful and large tornado remained over rural areas, however, it obliterated a 1/4-mile (400 m) swath of trees along its path.
F1 Evening Star Greene 2230 11 miles
(17 km)
12 houses were damaged or destroyed. A church was also heavily damaged.
F0 Hickory Ridge Cross 2233 unknown Brief touchdown with no damage, but hundreds of geese killed.
F3 Sunnydale area White, Independence 2238 19 miles
(31 km)
Strong tornado up to 1/2-mile (800 m) wide damaged or destroyed many houses, including several flattened trailers. Extensive damage also to trees. Two people were injured.
F0 E of Knobel (1st tornado) Clay 2245 12 miles
(20 km)
Minor damage reported to one house.
F2 Center Hill area White 2246 8 miles
(13 km)
2 deaths - Tornado followed the Highway 305 corridor. Several mobile homes were thrown and destroyed, killing two occupants. Many other houses were damaged. Two others were injured.
F1 NE of Macon Pulaski, Faulkner, Lonoke, White 2249 8 miles
(13 km)
One house suffered a damaged roof and a mobile home was damaged. Extensive tree damage along the path.
F2 Oil Trough area Independence 2255 20 miles
(32 km)
Several houses were damaged or destroyed, along with numerous outbuildings. Widespread damage to trees and power lines. Three people were injured.
F3 S of Brinkley Monroe, St. Francis 2302 36 miles
(57 km)
Long-track tornado flattened one house and destroyed 20 others along its path, plus numerous farm buildings and outbuildings. Several transmission towers were knocked down. Nine people were injured.
F4 E of Knobel (2nd tornado) Clay 2305 16 miles
(26 km)
Violent tornado flattened two houses and damaged several others along its path. Two tractor trailers were destroyed.
F1 White Hall area Jefferson 2311 14 miles
(23 km)
Several houses damaged and barns destroyed before tracking into the Pine Bluff Arsenal. Several buildings were damaged on the Arsenal, primarily to roofs. After crossing the Arkansas River, several more houses damaged. Four people were injured.
F0 Garret Grove Lee 2325 unknown Brief touchdown with minimal damage.
F0 Goodwin St. Francis 2325 unknown Brief touchdown in town. Some minor damage reported.
F1 E of Tucker Jefferson, Lonoke 2330 16 miles
(26 km)
Several buildings damaged on the grounds of the Arkansas State Penitentary. Significant tree damage along the path.
F1 S of Donaldson Hot Spring 2334 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Minimal damage, mostly to trees.
F1 SE of Donaldson Hot Spring 2337 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Formed as the previous tornado dissipated. No significant damage.
F1 S of Romance White 2338 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Several houses suffered minor roof damage.
F2 Joy area White 2347 10-mile
(16 km)
Several buildings were damaged, including an antique store and a fire department building. Several outbuildings were destroyed. Extensive tree damage was reported.
F0 W of Hoxie Lawrence 0000 unknown Short-lived tornado with minimal damage.
F3 NE of Oil Trough Independence, Jackson, Lawrence 0005 39 miles
(62 km)
Powerful tornado remained in rural areas. Extensive and severe damage to trees with swaths of forests up to 1/2-mile wide obliterated.
F2 W of Hazen Prairie 0013 7 miles
(11 km)
One house was destroyed and several others suffered varying degrees of damage.
F0 W of Colt St. Francis 0015 unknown Brief tornado with minimal damage.
F3 SE of Malvern Hot Spring, Grant 0018 11 miles
(17 km)
Tornado remained in mostly rural areas with extensive damage to trees. One chicken house was destroyed.
F2 Pleasant Plains area White, Independence 0020 11 miles
(17 km)
1 death - At least 30 houses, several businesses, a church and several barns were damaged, and a trailer was destroyed - killing an occupant.
F1 Des Arc area Prairie 0021 17 miles
(28 km)
Several buildings sustained minor damage, with the most impact on trees and power lines.
F3 Little Rock area (1st tornado) Saline, Pulaski 0024 22 miles
(35 km)
3 deaths - See section on this tornado
F2 Little Rock area (2nd tornado) Pulaski, Lonoke 0042 11 miles
(17 km)
See section on this tornado
F1 E of Palatka Clay 0050 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Short-lived tornado that damaged several houses.
F1 E of Sidon White, Cleburne 0054 10 miles
(16 km)
One woodworking plant was destroyed, and several outbuildings were also damaged. Trees and power lines were knocked down.
F0 W of Patterson Woodruff 0102 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Tornado remained over rural countryside; no damage reported.
F0 NW of Walnut Ridge Lawrence 0105 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with minimal damage.
F0 W of Bloomer Sebastian 0111 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado reported by spotters at Highways 22 and 96. No damage reported.
F1 E of Ward Lonoke 0118 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Short-lived tornado that damaged 15 houses. One mobile home was heavily damaged, and several sheds and outbuildings were destroyed. One person was injured.
F2 Corning area Clay 0125 7 miles
(11 km)
Several houses sustained heavy damage. The Corning airport also sustained significant damage, with several hangars and airplanes destroyed.
F3 Beebe area White 0125 8 miles
(13 km)
2 deaths - Severe tornado touched down in the area. The Beebe Junior High School was heavily damaged, along with a church and fire hall. Many houses were damaged or destroyed, and gas leaks were reported in Beebe. 29 others were injured by this tornado, which was up to 2/3-mile (1 km) wide.
F2 Newark area Independence 0133 7 miles
(11 km)
Damage was reported to over 100 houses, several businesses and a church - mostly to roofs. Several trailers were destroyed.
F0 S of Jacksonville Pulaski 0159 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Brief tornado touchdown with minimal damage.
F0 E of Lanieve Craighead 0210 5 miles
(8 km)
Tornado remained in rural areas with minimal damage.
F2 Washington area Hempstead 0213 21 miles
(33 km)
Damage mostly to trees, including several large trees that fell onto several houses causing some structural damage.
F1 Newport area Jackson, Independence 0220 9 miles
(15 km)
Minor damage reported, mostly caused by falling trees. Three people were injured.
F0 Marmaduke Greene 0250 unknown Brief tornado touchdown. Damage limited to trees and power lines.
F0 W of Egypt Craighead, Lawrence 0255 7 miles
(11 km)
Three houses were damaged and an antenna was knocked over. One person was injured.
F0 Schug area Craighead, Greene 0340 6 miles
(9.6 km)
Two houses suffered minor structural damage. Several trees were also knocked over.
F0 Wilson Mississippi 0355 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F0 NW of Bay Craighead 0400 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Tornado remained in rural areas. Several trees blown down.
Mississippi
F1 E of Malvina Bolivar 2110 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Two mobile homes were destroyed, and minor damage was reported to several other houses.
F1 Cleveland Bolivar 2116 2 miles
(3.2 km)
One mobile home was overturned. Damage also reported to a business.
F0 NE of Shaw Bolivar, Sunflower 0334 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Weak tornado remained in open areas. No damage reported.
F0 SE of Boyle (1st tornado) Bolivar, Sunflower 0334 13 miles
(21 km)
Tornado tracked through many open areas. No damage reported.
F1 NE of Shaw Washington 0433 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Minor damage reported to a mobile home and several outbuildings.
F0 SE of Greenville Washington 0440 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Short-lived tornado sighted but remained in open fields.
F0 S of Belzoni Humphreys 0445 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Minor damage limited to trees.
F0 NE of Curtis Station Panola 0445 8 miles
(13 km)
One mobile home removed from its foundation.
F0 Senatobia Tate 0459 7 miles
(11 km)
Tornado remained in open areas. Damage was minimal.
F2 Blaine area Sunflower 0502 15 miles
(24 km)
Five houses were heavily damaged. One mobile home was destroyed and another was damaged. Two churches were also destroyed.
F0 SE of Boyle (2nd tornado) Bolivar 0515 5 miles
(8 km)
Tornado remained in open fields.
F0 W of Itta Bena Leflore 0515 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Large 4/10-mile (700 m) wide tornado spotted by storm chasers, but remained in open fields with no damage.
F0 NW of Ruleville Sunflower 0525 10 miles
(16 km)
Tornado remained in open fields.
Missouri
F0 NW of Sikeston Scott 2250 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F0 Fagus Butler 2332 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F0 Morehouse New Madrid 2350 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F0 E of Essex Stoddard 0000 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F0 NW of Cardwell Dunklin 0005 unknown Brief tornado touchdown. Minimal damage reported.
F1 SE of Benton Scott 0015 1 mile
(1.6 km)
A mobile home was overturned, and several outbuildings were damaged.
F0 NW of Kennett Dunklin 0315 unknown Brief tornado touchdown. Minimal damage reported.
F1 NE of Morehouse New Madrid, Scott 0407 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Damage primarily to trees along its path.
F0 Steele Pemiscot 0410 unknown Brief tornado touchdown. Minimal damage reported.
F1 NW of Dexter Stoddard 0440 1 mile
(1.6 km)
A mobile home was overturned and a shed was destroyed. In addition, many trees and power lines were knocked down.
F0 Perkins Scott 0500 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with no damage.
F1 W of Morley Scott 0505 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Heavy damage reported to a farm, including a destroyed barn and shed. A mobile home was overturned and minor damage reported to one house.
Louisiana
F1 NE of Bonita Morehouse, Ashley (AR), Chicot (AR) 0115 37 miles
(59 km)
Long-track tornado with minor to moderate damage to several houses. Widespread tree damage.
F1 Tallajuh area Madison, Warren (MS) 0430 16 miles
(26 km)
Many vehicles, including eight tractor trailers, were blown off Interstate 20. Several buildings sustained minor damage. Extensive damage to trees and power lines.
Tennessee
F0 Tiptonville Lake 0528 unknown Brief tornado with minimal damage.
Kentucky
F1 NE of Wickliffe Ballard 0652 1 mile
(1.6 km)
A mobile home was destroyed, injuring its six occupants. Barns and trees were also damaged.
F1 E of Kevil McCracken 0700 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Five mobile homes were heavily damage in the Lone Lake subdivision. Several other outbuildings and garages were destroyed and four houses sustained minor damage. Two people were injured.
Illinois
F2 SW of Golconda Pope 0715 2 miles
(3.2 km)
A summer resort in Shawnee National Forest (closed for the winter) was heavily damaged, with over 35 lodges damaged or destroyed along with many trees.
Sources: National Climatic Data Center

January 22 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Louisiana
F1 Sadie area Union, Grant (AR) 0800 17 miles
(28 km)
Minimal damage, mostly to trees along its long path.
F0 E of King Hill Natchitoches 1102 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
F0 S of Coushatta Red River 1105 5 miles
(8 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
F0 NW of Messick Natchitoches 1114 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
F0 SE of Coushatta Red River 1120 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
F1 S of Cox Crossing Bienville 1149 8 miles
(13 km)
Significant tree damage reported in the heavily wooded area.
F1 S of Walker Jackson 1152 20 miles
(32 km)
Long track tornado remained in open woodland.
F1 E of Quitman Jackson 1205 12 miles
(20 km)
Tornado remained in open woodland with tree damage.
F1 E of Vienna Lincoln 1222 12 miles
(20 km)
Tornado remained in open woodland with tree damage.
F0 NW of Okaloosa Ouachita 1230 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Tornado remained over open woodlands with no damage.
F0 Evans Vernon 1640 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Brief tornado knocked down some trees in the area.
F0 NW of Gorum Natchitoches 1609 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
F0 E of Aloha Grant 1810 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained over unpopulated woodlands with no damage.
F0 Ferriday Concordia 1915 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained in an open field.
F0 NW of Messick Natchitoches 1114 3 miles
(4.8 km)
Tornado remained over swampland with no damage.
Arkansas
F1 Felsenthal area Union 0825 7 miles
(11 km)
Numerous houses sustained minor roof damage.
F0 S of Eudora Chicot 1423 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Tornado remained in an open field with no damage reported.
F0 N of Kiblah Miller 0153 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Tornado tracked across woodland and farm country. No damage reported.
Tennessee
F3 S of Camden Benton 0920 15 miles
(24 km)
1 death - 12 houses were destroyed and many other houses and businesses were damaged. The fatality occurred outdoors. Five others were injured.
F3 Clarksville Montgomery 1015 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Severe damage reported in the city. 124 buildings were destroyed and over 500 others damaged, mostly in the downtown area. The county courthouse was also destroyed. Severe damage also took place at Austin Peay State University. Five people were injured.
F1 NE of Cordova Shelby 1025 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Two houses were destroyed, and numerous other houses and a school were damaged.
F2 McEwen area Humphreys 1043 4 miles
(6.4 km)
Significant damage in the community, where many houses were damaged (two of which were completely destroyed). One person was injured.
F0 Pocahontas Hardeman 1805 unknown Brief tornado touchdown, minor damage reported.
Mississippi
F0 Horn Lake DeSoto 1110 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Five houses were heavily damaged and numerous others sustained lesser damage.
F0 NW of Fayette Jefferson 1525 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Some trees were damaged and blown onto the Natchez Trace Parkway.
F0 E of Port Gibson Claiborne 1545 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Damage limited to a few trees.
F0 N of Utica Hinds 1615 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Damage limited to a few trees.
F0 Lexington Holmes 1620 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado blew down some power lines.
F0 Raymond Hinds 1658 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado touched down in open areas at the Raymond Williams Airport but no damage took place.
F1 Corinth Alcorn 1835 5 miles
(8 km)
Several houses and 31 businesses were damaged, and a metal industrial building was heavily damaged.
F0 Vaiden Carroll 2032 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Brief tornado in an open area spotted by the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
F0 E of Vicksburg Warren 2040 4 miles
(6.4 km)
A few trees were knocked down by this small tornado.
F0 W of Lexington Holmes 2100 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained in an open area with no damage.
F0 Booneville Prentiss 2115 unknown Several trees were blown down near the town.
F0 Baldwyn Lee 2310 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with minimal damage.
F0 W of Osyka Pike 2315 unknown One house lost its roof in this brief tornado.
F0 Wheeler Prentiss 2320 unknown Brief tornado touchdown with minimal damage.
F0 SW of Topeka Lawrence 2345 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Several trees were blown down.
Texas
F0 S of Call Newton 1630 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Some trees were damaged by this brief tornado.
F1 New Boston Bowie 2310 unknown Brief tornado damaged several businesses in a commercial area along Interstate 30.
Alabama
F0 NW of Russellville Franklin 2139 unknown Brief tornado with no damage.
F0 SW of Muscle Shoals Colbert 2143 1 mile
(1.6 km)
Tornado remained in an open area.
F0 W of Falkville Morgan 2243 unknown Brief tornado near the Danville-Neel Recreation Area with no damage.
F0 NE of Fayette Fayette 2252 unknown A roof was damaged and several trees were uprooted.
F1 NW of Double Springs Winston 2315 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Three houses, two mobile homes and a church were damaged. Many trees were also damaged.
Sources: National Climatic Data Center

January 23 event[edit]

F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
Virginia
F1 S of Indian Valley Floyd 1930 0.2 miles (320 m) Brief tornado destroyed two outbuildings and damaged a few other structures. Many trees were downed.
Sources: National Climatic Data Center

Little Rock, Arkansas tornadoes[edit]

Outbreak death toll
State Total County County
total
Arkansas 8 Pulaski 3
White 5
Tennessee 1 Benton 1
Totals 9
All deaths were tornado-related

The Little Rock area was slammed by a strong tornado on the evening of January 21. The tornado began in Saline County south of Vimy Ridge at 6:24 pm CST (0024 UTC). Before crossing the Pulaski County line, it did moderate damage to several houses and significant damage to a mobile home.[1] It crossed into Pulaski County at 6:33 pm, where moderate roof damage was reported to several buildings along the Interstate 30 corridor. It continued eastward and did most of its devastation just south of the downtown area.[2]

There was severe damage reported to over 235 buildings, many of which were destroyed. One of the destroyed buildings included a large grocery store, a Harvest Foods, where one person was killed. Over 500 other buildings sustained lesser damage. Some of the houses damaged that were in the historic district were also condemned due to there being lead smelt beneath them. Trees and power lines were also knocked down throughout the area. Damage was also reported on the property of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, where many trees were knocked down. As the tornado left the downtown vicinity, it weakened as it crossed Interstate 40. It weakened in the northeastern suburbs, near Sherwood at 6:53 pm CST, after being on the ground for 29 minutes and travelling 22 miles (35 km). The first tornado was rated as an F3 tornado on the Fujita scale[2]

As the first tornado dissipated, a second tornado developed in eastern Pulaski County. While it remained in more rural settings, it also destroyed several buildings, including a storage facility. It also knocked over several tractor-trailers before crossing into Lonoke County.[3] Extensive damage was also reported in Lonoke County, where the South Bend community was hit hard. 12 houses, 11 mobile homes and several farm buildings were damaged or destroyed in Lonoke County. The tornado dissipated at 7:02 pm CST (0102 UTC) southwest of Cabot. It was an F2 tornado.[4]

Three people died in the tornadoes (all due to the first F3). One of them was in the destroyed grocery store, another was in a vehicle hit by a tree, and the third was in a mobile home that was destroyed. 78 other people were injured by the tornado.[2][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]