SPC Stats

Path length: 75.09 miles

Width:  1300 yards

Fatalities:  9

Injuries:  36

Rating:  EF4

County:  Tate, Marshall, Benton, Tippah (MS) / Hardeman, McNairy (TN)

31 tornadoes occurred on December 23, 2015.  The strongest was rated EF-4.  It had a long-track of just over 75 miles through parts of Northern MS into Southern TN. 

The tornado developed in SE Tate County, MS.  Damage here was minor.  It tracked into Marshall County, MS and heavily damaged several homes along Highway 4.  Damage to the Marlow Church of Christ SW of Holly Springs was determined to be EF-4.  As the twister moved along the SE edge of town, EF-2 to EF-3 damage occurred.  ~200 homes had different degrees of damage in Marshall County.  There were 2 fatalities.  

One of the deaths near Holly Springs was a 7-year-old boy who was in a car that was swept up by the storm.

Next in line was Benton County, MS.  The tornado strengthened once again.  Several homes WNW of Ashland had near EF-4 damage.  The NWS Survey noted there was EF-4 damage in the NE part of the county.  17 homes and 15 mobile homes were destroyed.  15 homes and 3 mobile homes had major damage.  There were 6 fatalities.

This massive tornado moved into Tippah County, MS damaging several homes in the Three Forks Community.   Over 100 homes were affected in this county and there was 1 fatality.

The tornado moved across state lines into Hardeman County, TN.  A large metal agricultural building was destroyed.  Next, McNairy County was hit.  The tornado began weakening at this point but not before damaging/destroying about 15 homes.  The tornado dissipated on the SE part of Selmer, TN.  

Storm Data Entry

Tate (MS):

The tornado developed over Southeast Tate County. The tornado caused minor roof damage to a house in Tyro before moving into Marshall County.

Marshall (MS):

The tornado tracked into Marshall County from Tate County. As it moved into Marshall County the tornado heavily damaged several homes along Highway 4. The tornado produced damage to a church and surrounding trees southwest of Holly Springs that approached EF-4. The tornado moved across the southeastern edge of Holly Springs causing EF-2 to EF-3 damage. Numerous trees were uprooted or snapped. About 200 homes were damaged in Marshall County. Two fatalities occurred in Marshall County along with at least 30 injuries. The tornado then tracked into Benton County.

Benton (MS):

The tornado crossed from Marshall County into Benton County near Highway 4 west of Ashland. The tornado appeared to strengthen as it entered Benton County. Several houses west-northwest of Ashland has damage approaching EF-4 with EF-4 damage observed in Northeast Benton County. Six fatalities occurred in Benton County. Eighty-five structures were affected in Benton County. Seventeen homes and fifteen mobile homes were destroyed. Fifteen homes and three mobile homes suffered major damage. Twenty homes and seven mobile homes had minor damage. Many acres of timber were also damaged or destroyed. The tornado then continued into Tippah County.

Tippah (MS):

The tornado crossed from Benton County Mississippi into Tippah County. The tornado moved across far northwestern Tippah County damaging several homes in the Three Forks Community. One fatality occurred in Tippah County. Over 100 houses were affected and about 45 homes were destroyed. The tornado then crossed the Tennessee state line into Hardeman County.

Hardeman (TN):

The tornado crossed from Tippah County into Hardeman County. As it crossed over the state line it destroyed a large metal agricultural building. A couple of houses and businesses were also damaged. The tornado then moved into McNairy County.

McNairy (TN):

The tornado moved into McNairy County from Hardeman County and began weakening. Around 15 homes were damaged or destroyed south of Selmer. The last observed damage was near Highway 45 on the southeast edge of Selmer.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 34.5955 / -89.7055      End: 35.1496 / -88.5666

Included county coordinates provided by NCDC Database.

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Damage Photo via NWS Memphis

EF-4 damage to two story house in Benton County, MS

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