Charleston, MS

Fast Facts

Founded: 1837 Population: 2,193 Time Zone: -6
Latitude: 34.007 N Longitude: 090.056 W Altitude: 213 ft
Average High: 72.7 Average Low: 50.1 Annual Precipitation: 53.98

Charleston, MS, is located in Tallahatchie County in north central Mississippi. Tallahatchie is a Choctaw name meaning "rock of waters" and the county is one of ten in Mississippi with two county seats, Charleston and Sumner. Charleston was the first county seat, and Sumner was organized later in 1872.

Charleston, MS, was founded in 1837, but its history goes back prior to that. A settlement of five communities had grown up along the forks of Tillatoba Creek.

In 1833 the land was opened for settlement. There were no roads, only Indian trails. Most of the settlers entered the county over what was called Charley's Trace, an Indian trail that came across from the Mississippi river and entered the hills about where Leverett is now located. Here the trail merged with a trail from the south and passed near the present site of Charleston.

Colonel Thomas Bailey came from Kentucky and formed the first settlement on the north fork of the creek which was about five miles to the northeast. He was later joined by James Bailey, Samuel Caruthers, William Flemming, M. Johnson, Willam Kendrick, Robert Thrasher, A. Patterson, and Kinchen Mayo who extended the settlement along the creek toward the Junction. Another settlement was started by the Priddy's, J. Houstons, Cade Alford and the Carson family who extended the settlement along the creek to the junction of three forks.

In 1837 the Board of Police found it necessary to abandon Tillatobia (now Charleston). There was a section of unsettled land in the heart of the first five settlements. This section of land had been granted to Greenwood LeFlore under the terms of the Dancing Rabbit Treaty of 1830. J.S.Topp & Co. had acquired the section of land and proposed to build the town of Charleston (named for Charleston, South Carolina) and to have this as the permanent county seat of Tallahatchie County.

  U.S. Census Quick Facts about Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.

  Census Reporter Demographic Profile about Charleston, MS.


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 ◊  History of: Charleston, MS
 ◊  History of MS
 ◊  Weather data for Charleston, MS
 ◊  Historic Weather Events for MS
Bell at Courthouse Tallahatchie County Courthouse

History of Charleston, MS

CSA Monument

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State History[1]

Ancient times


  • ca. 40,000-15,000 B.C. - People migrate to North America from Asia at irregular intervals by way of the Bering Land Bridge.
  • 10,000 BC - As glaciers from the last Ice Age recede, flood waters carve the channel of the Mississippi river.
  • 10,000-8000 B.C. - Paleo-Indian culture of seminomadic hunter-foragers living in open countryside and in natural rock shelters.
  • 8,000 BC to 5,000 BC - First evidence of human habitation in Upper Mississippi region.
  • 7,000 BC - 1,000 BC - Archaic Period of Native American hunter-gatherer culture as Indians build temporary dwellings, add shellfish to their diets, and fashion atlatls (spear throwers) to hunt small game.
  • 6,000 BC - Hunters slaughter giant bison in what is now Itasca State Park, Minnesota, leaving evidence of their presence.
  • 2,500 BC - 100 BC - Gulf Formational Period of Indian culture with increasing sophistication in ceramic development with tempered pottery.
  • 1,000 B.C.-A.D. 1550 - Woodland-culture American Indians settle in permanent locations, usually beside streams, and practice a mixed subsistence lifestyle of hunting, gathering, and some agriculture. They create pottery and also develop elaborate funeral procedures, such as building mounds, to honor their dead.
  • 300 BC - 1000 AD - Woodland Period of permanent houses, embellished pottery, bows and arrows, and maize and squash cultivation.
  • A.D. 700-1550 - Mississippian-culture American Indians create large political units called chiefdoms, uniting people under stronger leadership than the Woodland cultures have. Towns become larger and last longer. People construct flat-topped, pyramidal mounds to serve as foundations for temples, mortuaries, chiefs' houses, and other important buildings. Towns are usually situated beside streams and surrounded by defensive structures. The Hopewell (Mound building) culture dominates area.
  • 950 to 1250 - Medieval Warm Period.
  • 1300-1850 - The Little Ice Age.

1500 - 1699


  • 1540-1541 - Hernando De Soto, Spanish explorer, becomes the first known European to enter Mississippi. He winters with the Chickasaws and discovers the Mississippi River in the spring.

    "Tribes resident in Mississippi at the time of the European intrusion included the Acolapissa, Bayogoula, Biloxi, and Pascagoula on the Gulf, the Natchez on the lower Mississippi, the Chakchiuma, Choula, Houma, Ibitoupa, Koroa, Taposa, Tiou, and Yazoo on the Yazoo River and its tributaries, and the Tunica in northwestern Mississippi. The Choc-taws occupied Mississippi's interior center and south, and the Chickasaws inhabited the north and northeast."[2][3]


1700 - 1899


  • 1673 - Father Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, and fur trapper Louis Joliet begin exploration of the Mississippi River on May 17. They reach Mississippi in July and explore as far south as the mouth of the Arkansas River, near the present location of Rosedale, before turning back.
  • 1682 - Robert Cavalier de La Salle navigates the Mississippi River to its mouth and claims for France all lands drained by the river.
  • 1699 - Pierre LeMoyne Sieur D'Iberville, and his brother Jean Baptiste Sieur D'Bienville, land in what is now Ocean Springs. They built Fort Maurepas and establish the first capital of the vast French colony on the North American continent.
  • 1700s -
    • French fur trading era begins.
    • Ojibwe begin moving into area from Great Lakes, gradually pushing Dakota south and west.
  • 1716 - Fort Rosalie, the beginning of the town of Natchez, is established.
  • 1729 - French settlers at Fort Rosalie are massacred by Natchez Indians in an effort to drive Europeans from Mississippi.
  • 1732 - The French retaliate for the massacre at Fort Rosalie. The Natchez Indians cease to exist as a tribe.
  • 1736 - Bienville battles Chickasaw Indians in present day Lee County. He is defeated at the battle of Ackia.
  • 1756 - 1763; The Seven Years War (French and Indian War) due to disputes over land is won by Great Britain. The war ended with the Treaty of Paris among France, Spain and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg among Saxony, Austria and Prussia, in 1763. France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba.[Ref]
  • 1763-1779 - English Dominion
    • 1763 Mississippi, along with all other French territory east of the Mississippi River, passes into English control at the end of the French and Indian War.
  • 1779-1798 - Spanish Dominion
    • 1779 - Bernardo Galvez, governor of Spanish Louisiana, captures Natchez.
    • 1781-1783 - Under provisions of the Treaty of Paris, West Florida, which included the southern half of Mississippi, comes under Spanish control. America gains possession of Mississippi north of the 32 degree 28 minute parallel.
    • 1797 - Spain yields to America all land in Mississippi north of the 31st parallel, giving America control of Natchez.
  • 1798-1817 - Mississippi Territory
  • 1798 - The Spanish withdrawal from Mississippi is completed.
  • 1798, April 17 - Mississippi is organized as an American territory, and the first territorial governor, Winthrop Sargent, is appointed by President Thomas Jefferson. Mississippi Territory is expanded twice (in 1804 and 1812), until it extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the southern border of Tennessee. (Georgia gave up the northern portion in 1802, and the Gulf Coast region was acquired from Spain.) Originally Mississippi Territory included what is now Alabama, and 9 months before Mississippi was admitted into the Union in 1817, the Alabama Territory to the east was separated out on March 3. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the 20th state.
  • 1801 - Mississippi advances to the second stage of territorial government.
  • 1801-1802 - A treaty with the Indians allows the Natchez Trace to be developed as a mail route and major road.
  • 1801-1802 - Mississippi moves its territorial capital from Natchez to Washington, a small town near the Natchez Trace.
  • 1803 - The Louisiana Purchase opens the Mississippi River for Commerce.
  • 1805 - By the Treaty of Mount Dexter, the Choctaws sell 4.5 million acres of land to the U.S. government. The area includes the Piney Woods region of the state.
  • 1805 - Lt. Zebulon Pike explores Upper Mississippi and the Arkansas River.
  • 1805 - 1834 - Indian lands in Mississippi are opened to white settlement after six major treaties with the Choctaws and the Chickasaws between 1805 and 1834.
  • 1810 - West Florida rebellion gives the United States control of Spanish West Florida.
  • 1812 - The War of 1812 begins.
    Mississippi gains West Florida territory east of the Pearl River and south to the Gulf of Mexico. When the U.S. Congress annexed the Mobile District of West Florida, claiming that it was included in the Louisiana Purchase, but Spain disputed this and maintained its claim over the area. In the following year, General James Wilkinson occupied this district with a military force, the Spanish commandant offers no resistance.
  • 1814-1815 The War of 1812 ends.
  • 1816 - The Treaty of Fort St. Stephens with the Choctaws opens for settlement the area around the Tombigbee Prairie.
  • 1817, December 10 - An Act of Congress admits Mississippi to the Union as the twentieth state.
  • 1818 - Elizabeth Female Academy is founded in Washington, MS, the first girls' school chartered by the state and one of America's first women's colleges.
  • 1819 - Fort Snelling established at confluence of Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, future site of Twin Cities.
  • 1820 - The Treaty of Doak's Stand, the second Choctaw cession.
  • 1821 - Mississippi's first public school is opened in Columbus.
  • 1822 - The state capital is moved to Jackson, MS. Built on the site of Lefleur's Bluff, Jackson was one of the first planned cities in the nation. It was named for Major General Andrew Jackson.
  • 1826 - Mississippi College, originally known as Hampstead Academy, is established.
  • 1830
    • The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek cedes all Choctaw territory east of the Mississippi River to the U.S. Government. Most of the Choctaws leave the state.
    • The Treaty of Pontotoc Creek cedes north Mississippi Indian territory to the U.S. Government. The Chickasaws leave the state for Oklahoma.
  • 1832 - The Mississippi Constitutional Convention produces the State Constitution of 1832.
  • 1832 - Henry Schoolcraft is led to the headwaters of the Mississippi by an Ojibwe elder, Ozawindib.
  • 1837 - First major commercial logging of white pine forests begins.
  • 1838 - Pig's Eye settlement, forerunner of St. Paul, established upstream of Fort Snelling.
  • 1842 - Governor Tilghman M. Tucker becomes the state's first chief executive to occupy the newly completed Governor's Mansion, still used today.
  • 1844 - The University of Mississippi is established.
  • 1846, April; The Mexican-American War ignited as a result of disputes over claims to Texas boundaries. The outcome of the war fixed Texas' southern boundary at the Rio Grande River. Stephen Watts Kearny annexed New Mexico to U.S.[Ref]
  • 1848, February 2; The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed. The treaty established the U.S. - Mexican border of the Rio Grande River, and ceded to the United States the present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. In return, Mexico received US $18,250,000 ($461,725,000 [2011])-less than half the amount the U.S. had attempted to offer Mexico for the land before the opening of hostilities-and the U.S. agreed to assume $3.25-million ($82,225,000 [2011]) in debts that the Mexican government owed to U.S. citizens. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants being considered as inviolable.[Ref]
  • 1848 - State government assumes operation of a private school for the blind. It becomes the Mississippi School for the Blind, the nation's first state-supported institution for the handicapped.
  • 1850 - The U.S. Congress gives the state title to more than 3 million acres of swamp and overflow land. By this time, 310 miles of levees have been built along the banks of the Mississippi River. The delta is drained, cleared, and becomes available for cultivation.
  • 1850 - The Compromise of 1850 contains slavery to the South.
  • 1850 - Henry Hughes of Port Gibson publishes Treatise on Sociology, which later earns him the title "first American sociologist."
  • 1854, March 1 - Mississippi Institute for the Deaf and Dumb opens in Jackson.
  • 1857 - The Memphis & Charleston Railroad, the first railroad in the United States to link the Atlantic Ocean with the Mississippi River, is completed. The Memphis & Charleston Railroad crosses the Mobile & Ohio Railroad at Corinth, Mississippi 93 miles from Memphis.
  • 1861 - 1865 American Civil War. [More Information]
  • 1865, December 6; The Abolishment of Slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery.
  • 1867 - A military government is established in Mississippi after the reconstructed government of Mississippi is rejected by the U.S. Congress.
  • 1868 - Mississippi's first biracial constitutional convention - the "Black and Tan" Convention - drafts a constitution protecting the rights of freedmen (ex-slaves) and punishing ex-Confederates. It is rejected by the voters.
  • 1869 - Under the leadership of James L. Alcorn, Mississippi ratifies a constitution which does not punish ex-Confederate soldiers.
  • 1870 -
    • Mississippi is readmitted to the Union on February 23.
    • Civil government is gradually restored under Governor Alcorn.
    • The state's first system of public education is established.
    • Senator Hiram R. Revels, a minister from Natchez, becomes the first black senator in U.S. history, and serves as Mississippi's U.S. Senator from January 1870 to March 1871.
  • 1871 - Alcorn University, now Alcorn State University, is organized.
  • 1877 - The Mississippi State Board of Health is created through the influence of the State Medical Association.
  • 1877 - Jackson College, now Jackson State University, a private college for blacks, is established at Natchez.
  • 1878 - The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi (or Mississippi A&M), one of the national land-grant colleges, is established after Congress passes the Morrill Act in 1862. In 1935, it becomes Mississippi State College and in 1958, Mississippi State University.
  • 1884 - The Industrial Institute and College, today's Mississippi University for Women, is established.
  • 1890 - A new state constitution is adopted.
  • 1892 - Millsaps College is opened.
  • 1896; Plessy v. Ferguson decision by U.S. Supreme Court establishes "separate but equal" doctrine in racial policy.
  • 1898, February 15; The USS Maine (ACR-1) explodes and sinks in Havana Harbor, Cuba.
  • 1898; Spanish-American War.
  • 1899; The boll weevil crosses the Rio Grande from Mexico.


1900 - 1999


  • 1903 - A new capitol building, constructed at a cost of $1 million, is dedicated in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • 1904, May 12 - Construction begins on the battleship USS Mississippi BB-23.[4]
    • Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Cramp, Shipbuilding, Philadelphia, PA., May 12, 1904. Launched September 30, 1905. Commissioned February 1, 1908. Decommissioned July 21, 1914. Stricken July 21, 1914.
    • Fate: Sold to Greece, July 21, 1914 & renamed Kilkis. Sunk by German bombers while moored in Salamis near Athens on April 10, 1941.
    • Mississippi Class Battleship: Displacement 13,000 Tons, Dimensions, 382'4" (oa) x 77' x 27' (Max)Armament 4 x 12"/45 8 x 8"/45, 8 x 7"/45 12 x 3"/50, 2 21" tt. Armor, 9" Belt, 12" Turrets, 3" Decks, 9" Conning Tower. Machinery, 10,000 HP; 2 vertical, triple expansion engines, 2 screws. Speed, 17 Knots, Crew 744.
  • 1908 - Mississippi adopts statewide prohibition.
  • 1909 - Dr. Laurence C. Jones establishes the Piney Woods Country Life School for the vocational and secondary education of black students.
  • 1910 - Mississippi Normal College, now the University of Southern Mississippi, is organized.
  • 1915, April 5 - Construction begins on the battleship USS Mississippi - BB-41.[5]
    • Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Newport News, Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA., April 5, 1915. Launched January 25 1917. Commissioned December 18 1917. Reclassified Gunnery Training Ship, AG-128, February 15, 1946. Decommissioned September 17, 1956. Stricken July 30, 1956.
    • Fate: Sold November 28, 1956 and broken up for scrap.
    • New Mexico Class Battleship: Displacement 32,000 Tons, Dimensions, 624' (oa) x 97' 5" x 31' 1" (Max). Armament 12 x 14"/50 22 x 5"/51, 8 x 3"/50 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3 1/2" +2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 32,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1084.
  • 1914 - 1918 The First World War. [More Information]
  • 1916 - The Mississippi State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis is established.
  • 1916 - Governor Theodore Bilbo establishes the state's first Highway Commission.
  • 1918: Flu Epidemic infected 500 million people across the world, and killed 50 to 100 million. (see 1918 flu pandemic for more information.)[Ref]
  • 1920, August 18; Women win the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified by Tennessee.
  • 1922 - The State Legislature authorizes a system of junior colleges, the first in the nation.
  • 1923 - Two women, Senator Belle Kearny and Representative Nellie Nugent Somerville, are elected to the State Legislature.
  • 1924 - Delta State Teachers' College, now Delta State University, is established.
  • 1924, June 2; Congress passes the Indian Citizenship Act, conferring citizenship on Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.[Ref].
  • 1927 - The Mississippi River floods 2,722,000 acres in the delta. Thousands are left homeless.
  • 1929 - 1940; The Great Depression and New Deal.
    • The beginning of the Great Depression in the United States is associated with the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. The depression had devastating effects in both the industrialized countries and those which exported raw materials.
    • 1933; The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is created as part of the New Deal to develop resources of poor Appalachian South South, including Mississippi.
    • The New Deal is the title President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to a sequence of programs and promises he initiated between 1933 and 1938 with the goal of giving relief, reform and recovery to the people and economy of the United States during the Great Depression.
  • 1930 - A system of locks and dams on the Mississippi River to facilitate navigation and control flooding is authorized by Congress.
  • 1931, September 18 - Japan invades Manchuria.
  • 1932 - The state's first sales tax becomes effective.
  • 1932 - The Natchez Pilgrimage, a nationally-famous tour of antebellum homes in Natchez, MS, becomes an annual event.
  • 1935 - The Soviet Union declares that the fascist states of Germany and Japan are the enemies.
  • 1935, October 3 - The Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Italian armed forces from Eritrea invaded Ethiopia without a declaration of war. In response Ethiopia declares war on Italy. On October 7, the League of Nations declared Italy to be the aggressor, and started the slow process of imposing limited sanctions on Italy.
  • 1936, January 8 - Elvis Aaron Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • 1936 - Hugh L. White and the Mississippi State Legislature passes an amendment to Balance Agriculture With Industry (BAWI Program). The Industrial Commission and the Advertising Commission are created to implement the program, which includes adoption of the nation's first industrial revenue bond.
  • 1937, December 13 – January 1938; The Nanking Massacre was a mass murder (50,000–300,000 dead) and mass rape committed by Japanese troops against the residents of Nanjing (Nanking), then the capital of the Republic of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. [Ref]
  • 1939 - The state's first oil well is brought in near Tinsley, in Yazoo County.
  • 1940 - Jackson College, having earlier moved from Natchez to Jackson, becomes a state institution.
  • 1940 - The lock and dams on the Mississippi River, authorized by congress in 1930, is completed.
  • 1939 - 1945 World War II. [More Information]

    During World War II, the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) established numerous airfields in Mississippi for antisubmarine defense in the Gulf of Mexico and for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.

    Most of these airfields were under the command of Third Air Force or the Army Air Forces Training Command (AAFTC) (A predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command). However the other USAAF support commands (Air Technical Service Command (ATSC) and the Air Transport Command (ATC) or Troop Carrier Command) commanded a significant number of airfields in a support roles.

  • 1946 - Mississippi Vocational College, now Mississippi Valley State University, is established.
  • 1950 - 1953; The Korean War is fought in Korea.
  • 1954 - U.S. Supreme Court decides in Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka that "separate" schools cannot be "equal." This paved the way for desegregation and the civil rights movement.
  • 1962 - James Meredith, the first black registrant, enters the University of Mississippi -- the beginning of the end to segregation in public universities and colleges.
  • 1963 - Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), organizes a Freedom Vote in Mississippi to demonstrate the desire of black Mississippians to vote. They had been disfranchised since statutory and constitutional changes in 1890 and 1892. More than 80,000 people quickly registered and voted in mock elections which pitted candidates from the "Freedom Party" against the official state Democratic Party candidates
  • 1963 - Medgar Evers, NAACP field secretary, is assassinated.
  • 1964, June 21 - Three civil-rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi. James Chaney was a young black Mississippian and plasterer's apprentice. Andrew Goodman, was a Queens College student and Michael Schwerner was a social worker, were both Jewish volunteers from New York.
  • 1964, July 2 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing segregation in public places, is signed by President Johnson.
  • 1965 - Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr., announces that the Balance Agriculture With Industry (BAWI) Program has achieved its goal.
  • 1968 - Circuit Court Judge O. H. Barnett rules that Choctaw Indians are subject to their tribal laws, a reversal of an 1830's ruling that abolished tribal government.
  • 1968 - Robert Clark begins serving his first term in the Mississippi House as its first modern-day black member.
  • 1969 - Unitary system of public education is mandated by federal courts, ending segregation in public schools.
  • 1969 - Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing US $1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).
  • 1970 - Mississippi Authority for Educational Television is established and begins broadcasting.
  • 1972 - Work begins on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
  • 1972 - Governor William Waller's administration aggressively involves blacks and women in government through key Cabinet, Board and judicial appointments.
  • 1976 - Governor Cliff Finch calls a special session of the Legislature to restructure the states savings and loan associations, averting a financial crisis.
  • 1976 - Governor Finch succeeds in reuniting the long-separated Loyalist and Regular factions of the Mississippi Democratic Party.
  • 1978 - Sixteenth Section Lands and Lieu Lands Act transfers control of Sixteenth Section Lands from county boards of supervisors to local boards of education and requires fair-market rental value on those lands.
  • 1979 - Mattie T. Consent Decree initiates procedures providing equal education for handicapped children in the states public schools.
  • 1979 - Devastating flood inundates the city of Jackson and many towns south along the Pearl River.
  • 1982 - Governor William F. Winter calls a special legislative session, resulting in adoption of the historic Education Reform Act, pioneering nationwide school reform.
  • 1982 - Jackson hosts the International Ballet Competition.
  • 1983 - Judge Lenore Prather becomes Mississippi's first woman Supreme Court justice.
  • 1984 - Public Radio in Mississippi goes on the air.
  • 1984 - Governor Bill Allain implements a massive program of governmental reorganization.
  • 1985 - Justice Reuben Anderson becomes Mississippi's first black Supreme Court Justice.
  • 1986 - The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is completed.
  • 1986 - Yazoo City lawyer Mike Espy is elected to the U.S. House, the first black congressman from Mississippi since Reconstruction.
  • 1988 - A voluntary county unit system law is signed by Governor Mabus.
  • 1990 - Mississippi National Guard men and women play important roles in Operation Desert Storm for America in the Middle East.
  • 1991 - Mississippi becomes the nation's 21st state to allow its citizens to register to vote by mail.
  • 1991 - Kirk Fordice becomes Mississippi's first Republican governor since Reconstruction.
  • 1992 - Tornadoes hit Brandon and other parts of Mississippi killing fifteen and injuring about 300 others.
  • 1994 - One of the nation's strongest lobbying reform laws is passed by the Mississippi Legislature.


2000 - 2009


  • 2005, August 29 - Hurricane Katrina causes great destruction across the entire 90 miles (140 km) of Mississippi Gulf coast from Louisiana to Alabama.


For more information about The History of Mississippi, visit the following sites:

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Charleston, MS Weather Information

Monthly average highs and low temperatures and the average amount of precipitation for Charleston, MS.
Data from Charleston 1 N Weather station, 0.99 miles from Charleston.
Month Jan. Feb. March April May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
Avg. High 50.1 ° 56.2 ° 65.0 ° 73.8 ° 80.8 ° 87.6 ° 91.4 ° 90.7 ° 85.2 ° 75.3 ° 63.0 ° 53.7 ° 72.7 °
Avg. Low 29.5 ° 33.1 ° 41.3 ° 49.3 ° 58.7 ° 66.3 ° 70.5 ° 68.5 ° 61.6 ° 49.2 ° 40.2 ° 32.6 ° 50.1 °
Mean 39.8 ° 44.7 ° 53.2 ° 61.6 ° 69.8 ° 77.0 ° 81.0 ° 79.6 ° 73.4 ° 62.3 ° 51.6 ° 43.2 ° 61.4 °
Avg. Prec. 4.92 in 4.34 in 5.84 in 5.36 in 5.25 in 4.52 in 3.78 in 2.85 in 3.10 in 3.10 in 5.27 in 5.58 in 53.98 in


The climate in Charleston, MS, climate is hot during summer when temperatures tend to be in the upper 80´s and low 90´s and cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the low 40´s and 30´s. The yearly mean is 61.5° Fahrenheit.

The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 91.4 ° Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 29.5 ° Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate with a difference that can reach 26° Fahrenheit.

The annual average precipitation at Charleston is 53.98 inches. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest period of the year is in March with an average rainfall of 5.84 inches while the driest month is August with an average rainfall of 2.85 inches.[10]

Climate Classification:

The climate in Charleston, MS, is classified as humid subtropical climate (Cfa) by the Köppen-Geiger system.

Humid subtropical climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). No significant precipitation difference between seasons (neither abovementioned set of conditions fulfilled). No dry months in the summer. [Ref]

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MS Notable Severe Weather Events

“Rainfall in Mississippi averages about 56 inches annually and is distributed unevenly geographically, seasonally, and annually. About 70 percent of the rainfall is received in the winter and early spring. As a result, floods are common during this period. Periods of low streamflow and drought mostly occur in late summer or early fall.”

“Flooding in Mississippi generally is associated with frontal systems from November through May and with tropical cyclones, including tropical storms and hurricanes, from June through October. The April 1979 flood on the Pearl River is an example of a severe flood associated with a frontal system. This flood had a recurrence interval exceeding 100 years at all stream flow-gag ing stations upstream from Columbia. Floodwaters caused about $344 million in damage in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Tropical storms and hurricanes have produced many large Hoods in the coastal area of the State. The most destructive storm in terms of lives lost and property damage was Hurricane Camille in 1969. Camille was one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the North American Continent and resulted in the loss of 139 lives and property damage along the Mississippi gulf coast of $1.3 billion.”

“Although flooding is frequent and commonly severe, Mississippi is not immune to droughts. The three most extensive droughts were during 1940-44, 1951-57, and 1962-71. Of these, the 1951- 57 drought probably is the most memorable. Recorded flows for many streams in the State during this period were minimums of record. The 1980-82 drought, although not as severe, had a major effect on the large agricultural area of northern and northwestern Mississippi. This drought prompted the passage of water-management legislation in 1985.”[13]

Droughts [11]

Drought Severity Classification


Category Description Possible Impacts Palmer Drought Index CPC Soil
Moisture Model
USGS Weekly Streamflow
Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) Objective Short and Long-term Drought Indicator Blends (Percentiles)
D0 Abnormally
Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits;  pastures or crops not fully recovered -1.0 to -1.9 21-30 21-30F -0.5 to -0.7 21-30
D1 Moderate Drought Some damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water-use restrictions requested -2.0 to -2.9 11-20 11-20 -0.8 to -1.2 11-20
D2 Severe
Crop or pasture losses likely;  water shortages common; water restrictions imposed -3.0 to -3.9 6-10 6-10 -1.3 to -1.5 6-10
D3 Extreme Drought Major crop/pasture losses;  widespread water shortages or restrictions -4.0 to -4.9 3-5 3-5 -1.6 to -1.9 3-5
D4 Exceptional Drought Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies -5.0 or less 0-2 0-2 -2.0 or less 0-2

  • The drought of 1930-34 affected all of Mississippi. The Red Cross expenditures in Mississippi for 1930-31 was $500,000. This was part of a major drought known as the dust bowl that affected twenty-three states across the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys and into the mid-Atlantic region and as far north as Canada.[12]
  • The drought of 1940-44, which affected all of Mississippi. The drought was especially severe in the northern two-thirds of the State.
  • The drought of 1951-57 was widespread throughout the southeastern United States and was severe in all but northwestern and extreme southern Mississippi.
  • The drought of 1962-71 was severe in most of Mississippi.
  • The drought of 1980-82 was moderate and affected only the northern part of the State; however, the drought was significant because of the agricultural losses sustained. The rainfall deficits occurred primarily during the growing season and had a devastating effect on crop production.
  • The drought of 1983-88 was moderate in the east-central and north-central parts of Mississippi and severe in a small area of the northeast part of the state.

For more information:


Enhanced Fujita Scale


The following statistics where compiled from "The Tornado Project" for the time period of 1950-05-12 - 2014-12-24.
Intensity Number Fatalities
F0 565 0
F1 795 13
F2 415 36
F3 138 90
F4 27 195
F5 5 169


Between 1950-02-12 - 2014-12-23 Mississippi has had 2006 tornadoes killing 503 people and injuring 6850 people. The greatest loss of live occurred on March 3, 1966 when a EF 5 touchdown at 6:30 pm killing 58 and injuries: 518.[Ref]

  • 1840, May 7; Great Natchez Tornado was a tornado that hit Natchez, Mississippi killing 317 people. This was the second deadliest single tornado in United States history. The tornado formed southwest of Natchez, MS, and moved northeast along the Mississippi River and into the town of Natchez where it destroyed many buildings. The final death toll was 48 on land and 269 on the river, mostly from the sinking of flatboats. The land death toll of 48 is slightly disputed because it is believed that people died on plantations, and since this was pre-Civil War Mississippi, slave deaths weren't usually counted. The Fujita scale rating of this tornado is almost certainly an F5 but since there was no Fujita scale at the time, this tornado remains uncategorized.
  • 1908, April 24; Southeast tornado outbreak killing 143 people and was the 10th deadliest tornado outbreak in American history. The casualties in Purvis, Mississippi were 83 dead, 340 injured, and 1,935 homeless.
  • 1936, April 5-6; Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak, was an outbreak of seventeen tornadoes that struck the Southeastern United States killing approximately 436 people. An F5 Tornado, slammed into Tupelo, Mississippi at around 8:30 P.M. on April 5. The final death toll was set at 233 and was the fourth deadliest tornado in United States history. On April 6th an F4 slammed into Gainesville, Georgia at around 8:30 A.M. killing 203. A final death toll could not be calculated because many of the buildings that were hit collapsed and caught fire.
  • 1942, March 16; The March 1942 tornado outbreak spawned several violent killer tornadoes from Illinois to Mississippi. The most notable tornado struck areas near Greenwood, MS in the O'Tuckalofa and Baldwin areas. At least 65 people were killed by the first tornado as school buses carrying children were carried and smashed by the storm. Over 500 others were injured.
  • 1953, December 5; The Vicksburg, Mississippi tornado outbreak affected northeastern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas, and western Mississippi. At least four confirmed tornadoes touched down; one of the tornadoes produced F5 damage on the Fujita scale as it moved through the city of Vicksburg, MS, causing 38 deaths in the area. It remains the fourth deadliest tornado to affect the U.S. state of Mississippi.
  • 1957, April 2-5; The April 1957 Dallas tornado outbreak struck most of the Southern United States from April 2 to April 5, 1957, producing 57 tornadoes. Twenty-one (21) people were killed by this outbreak in four states, 1 in Mississippi, 2 in Georgia, 6 in Oklahoma and 12 in Texas. On April 2, a F3 tornado hit a densely populated area of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, killing 10 people and injuring 200 or more. The states affected by the Early-April 1957 tornado outbreak sequence were Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
  • 1960, May 4-6; The May 1960 tornado outbreak sequence affected the southeast High Plains, the southern Ozarks, and parts of the Midwestern and Southern United States. There were 71 confirmed tornadoes across 10 states. On May 5, a F5 was traveled 71.8 miles from north of Tecumseh to south of Oakhurst, Oklahoma killing 5. This outbreak affected Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Mississippi.[Ref]
  • 1966, March 3; The Candlestick Park tornado struck central Mississippi and western Alabama. The storm is named for the Candlestick Park Shopping Center in the southwest part of Jackson, MS. The storm completely destroyed the shopping center. After passing through Jackson, leaving F5 damage in its wake, the storm left a nearly continual damage path over 200 miles (322 km) long across seven Mississippi and three Alabama counties, causing 58 fatalities and 518 injuries before dissipating northeast of Tuscaloosa, AL.
  • 1971, February 21-22; The Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak of February 1971 struck portions of the Lower Mississippi River Valley and the Southeastern United States. Eight tornadoes struck Mississippi. An F4 moved from south of Fitler, MS to southwest of Middleton, TN causing 58 deaths. A second F4 moved from south of Bovina, MS, to southwest of Lexington, MS, killing 13. Three other deaths were caused by an F3 that struck north of Whitney.
  • 1975, January 10; The Great Storm of 1975 (also known as the Super Bowl Blizzard, Minnesota's Storm of the Century, or the Tornado Outbreak of January, 1975) was an intense storm system that impacted a large portion of the Central and Southeast United States from January 9 to January 12, 1975. The storm produced 45 tornadoes in the Southeast U.S. resulting in 12 fatalities, while later dropping over 2 feet (61 cm) of snow and killing 58 people in the Midwest. This storm remains one of the worst blizzards to ever strike parts of the Midwest, as well as one of the largest January tornado outbreaks on record in the United States A total of 7 tornadoes struck Mississippi on January 10, 1975. An F4 tornado moving from southwest of McComb, MS, to southwest of Pinola, MS, caused 9 deaths and 210 injuries. Tornadoes also struck Alabama (1 death), Arkansas, Florida (1 death), Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana (1 death), North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. [6]
  • 1992, Nov. 21-23; The November 1992 tornado outbreak struck large parts of the eastern and Midwestern. The storm spawned 95 tornadoes, 6 of them F4s. There were 26 fatalities and 641 injuries in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The tornado outbreak began on November 21 with a cluster of 6 tornadoes (ranging from F1 to F4) intensities that struck parts of the Houston, TX, area. There were 12 fatalities and 122 Injuries on Nov. 21, when devastating, long-tracked (128 miles), violent F4 tornado began near Hopewell, MS, and moved northeast and ending west of Sherwood. During this outbreak, there were 15 confirmed tornadoes in MS resulting in 15 deaths.[Ref][S-2]
  • 2001, November 23-24; Arkansas-Mississippi-Alabama tornado outbreak - Super cells formed across much of Arkansas and Mississippi during the evening hours of November 23 up into the early morning hours of November 24 and produced several tornadoes including two F4 tornadoes across Washington and Bolivar Counties in MS at around 2 AM. A second F4 formed in Madison County near the city of Madison at around 5 AM killing 2 (including a newborn baby) and injuring 21. An F2 struck Quitman, Panola and Tate Counties just after 3 AM and killed at least three. These storms severally damaged or destroyed 280 homes, 18 mobile homes and 17 businesses plus other structures. Five people were killed and 95 injured.
  • 2002, November 9 - 11; The Veterans Day Weekend tornado outbreak was a massive, rare outbreak of storms, affecting Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Northeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Far Western Virginia and West Virginia. The stroms occurred from the late afternoon hours on November 9 through the early morning hours on Veterans Day, November 11, 2002. There where a total of eighty-three tornadoes hitting the 17 states. Twelve of the tornadoes killed 36 people in five states. This was the first major outbreak of the 21st century, and is the second biggest in November. In Mississippi there were five F1, one F2 and one F3 tornadoes. Fortunately there where no deaths reported in MS. The F3 tornado caused heavy damage in Columbus, Mississippi and several buildings at the Mississippi University for Women and the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science were damaged. 55 people were injured.
  • 2005, August 29-31; The Hurricane Katrina tornado outbreak was spawned mostly by the outer bands of Hurricane Katrina (or the remnants thereof). One person was killed and numerous communities suffered damage from central Mississippi to Pennsylvania. Georgia, with 18 tornadoes, was the hardest hit. In total, 62 tornadoes formed in eight states. In Mississippi there were eight F1 and two F2 tornadoes all occurring on August 29.
  • 2007, February 28 - March 1 - The February-March 2007 Tornado Outbreak affected Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. There were 55 confirmed tornadoes, 3 EF3s and 3 EF4s with 19 fatalities. An EF4 struck the Enterprise, Alabama, high school killing 9 and injuring 50. One person was also killed in Millers Ferry, Alabama by an EF4. 1 person was killed in Caulfield, Missouri. In Georgia there was 1 Death and 4 Injuries in Reynolds, 2 Deaths and 11 Injuries in Americus and 6 Deaths 3 Injuries in the Newton area.[Ref]
  • 2008, January 7-9 - The January 2008 tornado outbreak sequence affected southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Kentucky. There were 85 confirmed tornadoes, including 8 EF3s. There were 4 fatalities.[Ref]
  • 2008, February 5-6 - The 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak affected Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Texas. There were 86 confirmed tornadoes, 5 EF3s and 5EF4s resulting in 57 fatalities. [Ref]
  • 2008, February 5-6; The 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak affected Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Texas. There were 86 confirmed tornadoes, 5 EF3s and 5EF4s resulting in 57 fatalities.
  • 2008 May 1-2; The May 1-2, tornado outbreak took place across the Southern and Central US. There were 75 tornadoes across Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. There were Six deaths, 45 injuries and $ 81.111 million in property damage. There were 3 F3 tornadoes, 2 in Arkansas and one in Missouri. On May 2, a 4 year-old girl and her grandparents were killed, when their house was destroyed in Damascus, Arkansas.[Ref][S-2]
  • 2009, February 10-11; The February 2009 tornado outbreak affected Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. There were 15 confirmed tornadoes, one EF4. The EF4 struck SE of Grady, Oklahoma killing 8 people.[Ref]
  • 2010, April 22-24; The Tornado outbreak of April 22-25, originally starting in the High Plains on April 22, 2010 and continuing through the Southern Plains on April 23, and the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys on April 24. The most severe activity was on April 24, particularly in Mississippi. There were a total of 88 tornadoes, 56 EF0, 17 EF1, 9 EF2 4 EF3 and 2 EF4. On April 24, a tornado peaked at EF4 with maximum winds around 170 mph and a maximum width of 1.75 miles. On the south side of Yazoo City, several buildings, including a church and several businesses, were totally destroyed. In Mississippi, there were 10 fatalities and 131 injured. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
  • 2010, April 30 - May 2; The Tornado outbreak of April 30 - May 2, 2010 tornado outbreak affected the Midwest, U.S. South, including Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There were 60 confirmed tornadoes with 4 EF3s. Five people were killed from the tornadoes, three in Mississippi, one in Pocahontas, Tennessee and one in Scotland, Arkansas. [Ref]
  • 2010, May 10-13; The Tornado outbreak of May 10-13, 2010 affected Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. There were 91 confirmed tornadoes, 4 EF3s and 2 EF4s. An EF4 in the Moore, Oklahoma, area, killed two and injured 49. Another EF4 in the Norman, Oklahoma, area killed one and injured 32.[Ref]
  • 2010, Dec, 31 - Jan. 1, 2011; The 2010 New Year's Eve tornado outbreak affected Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi. There were 36 confirmed tornadoes with 7 EF3s and 9 fatalities. An early morning EF-3 tornado touched down near Stilwell, Oklahoma, and lifted near Tontitown, Arkansas, killing 3 elderly people near Cincinnati, Arkansas. Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, took a direct hit from an EF-3 tornado, destroying 41 houses and damaging 118. Another EF-3 tornado killed 2 elderly women near Rolla, Missouri. An EF-1 tornado killed two women near Lecoma, Missouri. [Ref]
  • 2011, April 4-5; The April 2011 derecho and tornado outbreak affected Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. "derecho" is Spanish: meaning straight. There were 46 confirmed tornadoes, 6 EF 2s. There were 9 fatalities. An EF2 in struck a mobile home near Eastman, Georgia, killing one and injuring two others.[Ref]
  • 2011, April 14-16; The April 14-16, 2011 tornado outbreak affected Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. There were 162 confirmed tornadoes, 14 EF3s and 43 fatalities.[Ref]
  • 2011, April 19-24; The April 19-24 tornado outbreak affected the Midwest and Southern United State. There were 130 tornadoes, zero fatalities, 14 injured and $43.864 million in property damage. On April 22, an EF 4 touchdown in the St. Louis, Missouri arera, injuring 5. The states affected were Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Missouri, Ohio, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.[Ref]
  • 2011, April 25-28; The 2011 Super Outbreak affected the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States. It was the largest, costliest, and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks ever recorded. The 317 fatalities on April 27, was the highest number of tornado-related fatalities in the United States in a single day since the "Tri-State" outbreak on March 18, 1925 when at least 747 people were killed. The outbreak produced 15 violent (EF4-EF5) tornadoes all on April 27. During the four days, 348 people were killed as a result of the outbreak, which includes 324 tornado-related deaths across six states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia) and an additional 24 fatalities caused by other thunderstorm-related events such as straight-line winds, hail, flash flooding or lightning. The 2011 Super Outbreak affected Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. There were 334 confirmed tornadoes, 22 EF3s, 11 EF4s and 4 EF5s. There were 328 fatalities, 237 in Alabama, 6 in Arkansas, 14 in Georgia, 31 in Mississippi, 32 in Tennessee, and 4 in Virigina. There were 238 fatalities in Alabama, 32 in Tennessee, 31 in Mississippi, 14 in Georgia, 5 in Arkansas and 4 in Virginia. One of the longest-lived tornadoes on record, an EF5 traveled 132 mi (212 km) across northwest Alabama, devastating Hackleburg and other communities, killing 72 people. In total there were 324 deaths and over 3,200 injuries.[Ref]
  • 2011, Nov 14-16; The tornado outbreak of November 14–16, 2011 was a relatively small but deadly tornado outbreak. The outbreak produced a total of 23 tornadoes, 6 EF0, 10 EF1 and 7 EF2. The outbreak affected Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. On March 16, an EF2 damaged dozens of homes and businesses in Auburn, Alabama. Damage was also reported on the Auburn University campus, where a veterinary school was damaged and two horses were fatally injured. The tornado crossed into Georgia where damage occurred to numerous homes, the Harris County School Complex, the county's 911 center, and several other structures. Three people were injured. Two deaths were caused by an EF2, east of Linwood, North Carolina and 3 deaths occurred south west of Rock Hill, South Carolina. [Ref]

For more information:

Hurricanes / Tropical cyclone


Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
Related classifications
Tropical storm Tropical depression
Rollover for details

  • 1919, September; The 1919 Florida Keys hurricane formed on east of Guadeloupe. It became a category 4 hurricane on September 9, and passed south of Key West, Florida in the Florida Straits. The system made landfall on the Dry Tortugas at peak intensity with winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) extending as far as 17 mi (28 km) outwards, Crossing the Gulf of Mexico, the system made its final landfall near Baffin Bay, Texas, as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph. Winds dropping below hurricane-force on September 15 and then below tropical storm-force the next day. Heavy rains were common across southern Texas, with numerous locations recording 6 inches (150 mm) to 12 inches (300 mm) of rainfall within 24 hours. The storm surge and abnormally high tides resulted in extensive damage. About 23 blocks of homes were destroyed or washed away in Corpus Christi. A total of 284 bodies were recovered in the city and damage totaled at least $20 million. In Matagorda, Palacios, and Port Lavaca, wharves, fish houses, and small boats were significantly impacted. The docks and buildings in Port Aransas were swept away, while school building remained standing. Houses and crops were also flattened in Victoria. At least 310 deaths were reported in Texas, but there may have been as many as 600 fatalities.[Ref]
  • 1947, September; Fort Lauderdale Hurricane flooded a large part of Greater New Orleans with two feet of water shutting down Moisant Field and six feet of water in parts of Jefferson Parish. The storm produced an estimated 100 million US dollars worth of damage to the city.
  • 1960, September; Hurricane Ethel caused only minimal damage in the United States and so the name was not retired. Minor coastal flooding occurred as far eastward as Saint Marks, Florida, and several inches of rain fell in this general area. Because rain storms of this magnitude occur regularly in the Deep South, Ethel caused little flood damage.
  • 1969, August; Hurricane Camille, Category 5, hits the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing US $1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars). Camille was the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone recorded worldwide, and one of only four tropical cyclones worldwide ever to achieve wind speeds of 190 mph.
  • 1979, August; Hurricane Frederic storm surge damage was reported along 80 miles of coastline from Mississippi to Florida.
  • 1985, August; Hurricane Danny, category 1, killed 3 people (2 direct, 1 indirect) and left up to $100 million dollars in damage (1985 USD). Danny also produced an outbreak of tornadoes.
  • 1985, August; Hurricane Elena, made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm quickly dissipated over land.
  • 1998, September; Hurricane Georges, Category 4, brought a storm surge of up to 8.9 feet (2.7 m) in Biloxi, Mississippi. Hurricane Georges caused $665 million (1998 USD, $779 million 2006 USD) in damage, though no deaths due to well-executed evacuations.
  • 2002, September; Hurricane Isidore, Category 3, produced a storm surge of 8.3 feet (2.5 m) at Rigoletes, Louisiana and at Gulfport Harbor, Mississippi. Hurricane Isidore brought widespread heavy rainfall from the central Gulf coast into the Ohio Valley, with a maximum of 15.97 inches (406 mm) at Metarie, Louisiana.
  • 2002, September; Hurricane Lili, Category 4, was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. Lili's outer rainbands dumped large amounts of rain and brought tropical storm force wind gusts to Mississippi. Pascagoula, Mississippi recorded wind gusts of 41 mph (66 km/h), and Picayune, Mississippi received 4.14 inches (105 mm) of rainfall.
  • 2005, July; Hurricane Dennis, Category 4, was both the earliest major hurricane and the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever to form before August. The hurricane formed in the Gulf of Mexico on July 4, 2005 and dissipated on July 10, 2005. It affected Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and the Ohio Valley regions. The hurricane made landfall in the US at Santa Rosa Island, between Pensacola, Florida, and Navarre Beach, Florida, at 2:25 pm CDT (1925 UTC) on July 10. There were a total of 89 fatalities due to the storm, 14 in Florida and 1 in Georgia. [Ref]
  • 2005, September; Hurricane Rita, category 5, was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Several tornadoes from Rita's outer bands affected MS. At least 40 homes and an industrial plant were damaged. One person was killed by a tornado in Humphreys County in central Mississippi. One death was reported in Wilkinson County, although it has not been confirmed if it was storm-related.
  • 2005, August 29 - Hurricane Katrina, category 3, causes great destruction across the entire 90 miles (140 km) of Mississippi Gulf coast from Louisiana to Alabama. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest, in the history of the United States.
  • 2008, August; Hurricane Gustav made landfall in the United States near Cocodrie, Louisiana coast as a strong Category 2 hurricane – 1 mph below Category 3.

For more information:


USGC - Flood Mark
  • 1927, April - May; Flood of 1927 - Rain begain in the summer of 1926. On Christmas Day of 1926, the Cumberland River at Nashville, TN, exceeded 56.2 feet, a record high levellevel. By May 1927, the Mississippi River below Memphis, Tennessee, reached a width of 60 miles. There were 246 fatalities due to the flood and over $400 million in damages. The flood affected Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Arkansas had 14% of its territory covered by floodwaters.[Ref]
  • 1969, August; The Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana are flooded by the strom surge from Hurricane Camille. 259 deaths are reported and over 1.4 billion dollars in damages (not adjusted for inflation).[7]
  • 1983, May; Excessive rain causes flooding in central and northeast Mississippi. One death is reported and over 500 million dollars in damages (not adjusted for inflation).[8]
  • 2005, August; a massive storm surge caused by Hurricane Katrina destroyes most structures along the coast including floating casinos, and preliminary figures show that the storm surge was higher than in Hurricane Camille of 1969.[9]

For more information:

Winter Storms[14]


Regional snowfall index (RSI)[Ref-1] [Ref-2]

Category RSI Value Description
1 1—2.999 Notable
2 3—5.99 Significant
3 6—9.99 Major
4 10—17.99 Crippling
5 18.0+ Extreme


  • 1963, Dec 31, to Jan 1, 1964: New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm - Southeast Louisiana saw 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm), mainly east of the Mississippi river, with New Orleans, Louisiana measuring 4.5 inches (11 cm). Damages totalled at least US $ 50,000 (1963 dollars). A stripe of 15 to 17 inches (38 to 43 cm) of snow fell across portions of Mississippi, northwest Alabama, and into Tennessee, with lesser amounts falling on either side of this axis.
  • 1994, Feb 9 - 14; Due to freezing rain and sleet a Major Disaster Declaration declared on February 18, 1994(DR-1009).
  • 1998, Dec. 23 - 26; Due to ice and freezing rain a Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 25, 1999 (DR-1265). The counties affected were Attala, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Grenada, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Kemper, Leake, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union, Warren, Washington, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha and Yazoo.
  • 2007, Feb. 12-15; The February 2007 North America Winter Storm was a massive winter storm that began on Feb. 12, 2007 and lasted until on Feb. 14, producing heavy snowfalls across the Midwestern U.S. from Nebraska to Ohio and similar conditions across parts of the northeastern U.S., and into Canada and tornadoes across the southern US. Significant sleet and freezing rain fell across the southern Ohio Valley and affected portions of the east coast of the United States, including the cities of Boston, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. The southern portion of the storm produced severe thunderstorms with numerous tornadoes reported. One tornado hit a subdivision of New Orleans. In total, this storm system was responsible for 37 deaths across 13 U.S. states and Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. On Tuesday, February 13, 2007, the storm produced 7 EF 0, 9 EF1 and 3 EF2 tornadoes affecting Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. NOAA classified the storm as a Category 3, “Major” storm.[Ref]
  • 2007, April 13-17; The Spring Nor'easter of 2007 was a nor'easter that affected mainly the eastern parts of North America. The combined effects of high winds, heavy rainfall, and high tides led to flooding, storm damages, power outages, and evacuations, and disrupted traffic and commerce and resulted min at least 13 fatalities. There were 36 confirmed tornadoes in the Southern States, 15 EF0, 16 EF1, 4 EF2 and 1 EF3 in Sumter County, SC. Tornadoes struck Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.[Ref]
  • 2010, Feb 1-6; The February 5-6, 2010 North American blizzard formed on February 1, 2010 and moved ashore on the West Coast near Baja California Sur, Mexico, and moved north east. The storm moved off the east coast on Feb 6, 2010. The storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and flooding, in Mexico the heavy rains resulting in at least 15 fatalities. The storm affected Arizona and New Mexico from February 1 to 4 with up to 1 foot of snow in the mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On February 4, Oklahoma and northern Texas saw rain and snow, with severe thunderstorms further south. Feb. 4 brought widespread rainfall totals of 1 inch to 4 inches of rain were reported in portions of Central and Southern Mississippi. Jackson, MS, broke a daily rainfall record with 2.51 inches (6.4 cm) of rainfall. On Friday Feb, 5., power outages effecting about 40,000 customers, were reported in the North Carolina's mountain counties as the winter storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain to much of the state. A drenching rain fell early Friday in the Charlotte, NC, and in Atlanta, GA, which transitioned to a few inches of snow later in the day, while several inches of snow accumulated farther north. To the north, Howard, MD, received 38.3 inches of snow, while Washington Dulles International Airport measured 32.9 inches. Fatalities occurred in to Mexico, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The storm was classed as a Category 3 (“major”) nor'easter and severe weather event. [Ref]
  • 2010, April 22-24; The Tornado outbreak of April 22-25, originally starting in the High Plains on April 22, 2010 and continuing through the Southern Plains on April 23, and the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys on April 24. The most severe activity was on April 24, particularly in Mississippi. There were a total of 88 tornadoes, 56 EF0, 17 EF1, 9 EF2 4 EF3 and 2 EF4. On April 24, a tornado peaked at EF4 with maximum winds around 170 mph and a maximum width of 1.75 miles. On the south side of Yazoo City, several buildings, including a church and several businesses, were totally destroyed. In Mississippi, there were 10 fatalities and 131 injured. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
  • 2011, Jan 8 - 13; The January 8-13, 2011 North American Blizzard was a major nor'easter, winter storm, and a New England blizzard. The storm also affected the Southeastern regions of the United States. Jan 8 through Jan 10, the storm dropped snow and ice across Eastern Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Savoy, Massachusetts reported 40.5" of snow. Portions of Connecticut received 20 to 30" of snow.[Ref]
  • 2012, Dec 25-26; The December 25-28, 2012 North American storm complex was a massive Extratropical cyclone, Blizzard and Tornado outbreak across the southern and eastern United States. On Christmas Day 2012, 30 confirmed tornadoes occurred in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Two of the tornadoes were rated as EF3. On Dec 26, an EF1 tornado touchdown north of Beaufort, NC. This tornado outbreak occurred in conjunction with a much larger winter storm event that brought blizzard conditions to much of the interior United States. There were 16 fatalities as a result of the related blizzard, and thousands were without power.[Ref1]
  • 2014, Jan. 27-31; The January 2014 Gulf Coast winter storm was a winter storm that impacted the eastern and southeastern United States, as well as Mexico. Freezing rain and sleet were recorded in cites along the Gulf Coast including Houston, TX, New Orleans, LA, Mobile, AL and Tallahassee, FL. On Jan 27, warnings were issued for Atlanta'a south metro area, while the central region (from east to west) was placed under a winter weather advisory. At 3:38 AM, on Jan. 28, the winter storm warning was expanded northward. A tweet issued by the NWSFO in Peachtree City at 3:08 pm and repeated on the local news read: “Winter precip will make travel risky across GA midday Tues into Weds. Not a bad idea to stay off the roads if you're able!”. Many believed that the storm would not occur until midday and planned accordingly. The NWSFO was correct in its forecast, but the roads became slippery faster than anyone anticipated. Thinking they would have time to get home before the road condition deteriorated, many business and school systems planned to work a half day. The results was a higher than normal volume of traffic on the Atlanta roads and with the slippery conditions and hilly terrain in Atlanta, traffic stooped. Many people were not able to reach their homes and had to find shelter where they could. Coastal South Carolina got some of the freezing rain that closed bridges around Charleston, SC. The Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia received significant snows.[Ref]
  • 2014, Feb. 11-17; The North American winter storm of 2014, was a snow and ice storm that affected the American South and East Coast. Damage was estimated at $15 million+ and there were 22 fatalities. Four people died in traffic accidents in Texas due to ice, and in in Round Rock, TX on February 11, a single accident resulting from ice on a bridge affected 20 vehicles. Mississippi had two deaths attributed to the weather. Several tractor-trailers jackknifed on Interstate 65 in northeast Alabama.[Ref]
  • 2014, Dec 10-15; The December 2014 North American storm complex formed to the northwest of Midway Island on November 30, 2014. It dissipated on December 28, 2014. The storm hit the West Coast of the United States, beginning on the night of December 10, 2014. On December 11, the storm approached California, triggering mudslides, floods, and power outages across the state. At least 24 homes in Camarillo Springs were damaged by a rockslide while over 90,000 customers were without power. In the San Francisco Bay Area, 150,000 households were without power. The storm produced 4 EF0 tornadoes, one striking South Los Angeles, damaging at least five homes, and cut the power to over 1,000 home. Between Dec 14-15, the storm spawned 3 more EF0 tornadoes over Kansas and Mississippi. There were two fatalities in Oregon, killed by falling trees.[Ref]

For more information:

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  1. Mississippi, Timeline of State History - SHG Resources   [Online]
  2. Wikipedia - USS Mississippi (BB-23)   [Online]
  3. John R. Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin no. 137 (1946).
  4. Arrell m. Gibson The Indians of Mississippi P 68
  5. Wikipedia - USS Mississippi (BB-41/AG-128)   [Online]
  6. Great Storm of 1975 - Wikipedia  [Online]
  7. Significant Floods of the 20th Century - USGS   [Online]
  8. Significant Floods of the 20th Century - USGS   [Online]
  9. USGS - Droughts in Mississippi   [Online]
  10. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture - Drought of 1930–1931   [Online]
  11. NATIONAL WATER SUMMARY 1988-89 / Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts   [Online - PDF]
  12. FEMA - Disaster Declarations for Mississippi, Winter Stroms   [Online]
  13. Wikipedia - Charleston, Mississippi - Demographics   [Online],_Mississippi#Demographics
  14. Corner stone located at the U.S. Post office in Charleston, Mississippi

Last Update: February 25, 2019

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