WDAM 7′s First Alert Weather Team looks back at 2022 weather

Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 9:08 AM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - From hail to tornados, WDAM 7′s Chief Meteorologist Patrick Bigbie looks back at the weather that impacted the Pine Belt this year.

The year started with a quiet weather pattern. January and February were both fairly docile, but once March arrived, that all changed.

The action began on March 18, when our first bout of severe weather arrived in the area. However, we came off relatively unscathed that night, with only minor damage reported.

After that, the Pine Belt would then be terrorized by weekly severe weather outbreaks for the next six weeks.

On March 30, eight tornadoes touched down across the south, with two EF-2 tornadoes touching down in the Pine Belt - one in Maxie and the other in McLain. Both caused moderate damage.

Hail then fell across the Pine Belt on April 15 when two storms went rouge and dumped quarter to golf ball size hail across portions of Marion, Lamar and Forrest Counties. These storms were also very photogenic, as you can see from the timelapse captured at our Petro Nissan Skycam.

Our final outbreak of storms in Spring 2022 occurred on April 17 when six tornadoes touchdown. Beaumont was the hardest hit area due to an EF-2 tornado hitting a lumber mill and causing extensive damage to two large metal buildings.

In the fall, a rogue tornado touchdown on the west side of Hattiesburg near the Belmont apartments on August 24. It was only on the ground for a half mile and didn’t cause any damage, but it was a site to see for those on the west side of town.

Also, in August, the rains came and didn’t want to leave. It rained 26 out of 31 days, and we ended the month with a 5-inch rainfall surplus.

The surplus really came in handy, however, because, in September, it stopped raining. As a result, the Pine Belt went 33 days without rain.

Severe weather returned again to the area on November 29, when five tornadoes hit the Pine Belt. The strongest was an EF-2 that hit Stringer.

We ended the year with a large severe weather outbreak on December 14.

“Simply, it feels like this - everything west of I-59 is under a tornado warning,” Patrick said during the coverage of the December 14 weather event.

During a three-hour span, 36 tornado warnings were issued in the Pine Belt alone. Three tornadoes touched down in Ovett, Macedonia and Carnes, causing wide areas of damage.

While we don’t know what 2023 will hold for us weatherwise, we do know that we’ll always be ready in the WDAM First Alert Weather Center to keep you safe and informed.

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