Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Areka Mayse, left, points to the damage done to her grandparents home on Louisiana 65 near Ferriday on Friday afternoon, a day after a small tornado tore a large piece of the roof from the structure.
Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat —
Areka Mayse, left, points to the damage done to her grandparents home on Louisiana 65 near Ferriday on Friday afternoon, a day after a small tornado tore a large piece of the roof from the structure.

Small storm packed punch, ranked as weak F1

Published 12:01am Saturday, February 23, 2013

CLAYTON — The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that the tornado that hit Clayton Thursday evening was a weak F1 storm.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Stephen Wilkinson traveled to Clayton Friday to survey the damage left by the tornado.

“It was a pretty low-end F-1 on the weaker end of the scale,” Wilkinson said.

The tornado, Wilkinson said, ripped off part of the roof of a mobile home on Louisiana 65, large sections of shingles on a Traxler Road house, destroyed a shed and flipped a commercial truck trailer.

Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Debris liters the front yard of Mayse’s house.
Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Debris liters the front yard of Mayse’s house.

The tornado, which touched down for approximately 2 1/2 miles, reached a maximum wind speed of 90 mph and width of 75 yards.

Wilkinson said the NWS takes radar images with them in the field and uses the images to determine size and speed of a tornado.

“We take the radar and look at the damage and plot it out,” he said.

A photograph of the tornado also helped meteorologists determine the storm was a tornado.

“All of that put together made it a pretty easy call,” he said.

Although the tornado was not large and did not result in widespread damage, Wilkinson cautioned residents to take heed to tornado warnings no matter the size of the storm.

“If it hits your house, it’s significant,” he said. “We saw a number of people who said even though it wasn’t strong, it was very scary.”

Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Stephen Wilkinson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Jackson office, describes how the tornado sheared the roof off the house.
Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Stephen Wilkinson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Jackson office, describes how the tornado sheared the roof off the house.