The National Weather Service says the tornado that tore through northern Lowndes and Lanier Counties Saturday ranked as a “significant” twister.
The tornado, which touched down in Lowndes around 1 p.m., damaged or destroyed scores of homes in both counties and caused minor damage to Lakeland’s Louis Smith Memorial Hospital. No major injuries or deaths have been reported in connection with the storm.
A team from the National Weather Service was dispatched Sunday to study the damage and rate the tornado’s strength.
The twister ranks as an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale, according to Don Van Dyke, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Enhanced Fujita scale ranks tornadoes from EF-0 (winds reaching no more than 85 mph) to EF-5 (winds over 200 mph.) An EF-3 ranking means the winds were between 136 mph and 165 mph.
The Lowndes-Lanier tornado was at the low end of the EF-3 ranking, Van Dyke said.