Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, Michael E.

Committee Member

Wax, Charles L.

Committee Member

Rodgers, John C. III

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The vast majority of severe storm and tornado research is conducted in the natural laboratory of the Great Plains region of the United States. As a result, much of the knowledge and technology applied to storm forecasting is developed in the Great Plains environment. However, it has been shown that there is a maximum of strong and violent tornadoes in the region extending from Arkansas eastward into Alabama. In addition, various researchers have found strong severe storm thermodynamic signatures unique to regions such as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This study has analyzed five decades of tornado data for the state of Mississippi. Thermodynamic results indicate that Mississippi has a tornado environment distinctly different than that of the Great Plains. The spatial distribution of the tornado events also indicates that mesoscale processes between the Earth's surface and the lower troposphere may play a significant role in determining the genesis location of violent tornadoes in the historical Delta region of Mississippi. It is anticipated that an understanding of environments unique to Mississippi tornadoes will lead to better forecasts and more comprehensive storm analysis, which will ultimately save lives and property.