Sunday, March 26, 2023

Preliminary Tornado Surveys

We're going to have to wait on an assessment of the tornado that affected Marion and Franklin Counties in Northwest Alabama. It is my understanding that the National Weather Service offices in Jackson and Birmingham (probably Memphis too) are working together to take their time and do this right. That supercell lasted 100 miles or so and produced a lot of tornado damage. I saw where the damage at Rolling Fork was given a preliminary rating of F-4 and near Winona, the damage was estimated at F-3 level winds for now. With tornado damage this bad, you really have to bring in a team and take a few days to carefully analyze everything. A lot of the general public may want more instant answers than that, but it simply doesn't work that way. 

There were about 20-30 people already confirmed dead in Mississippi, but the only death I think we had in Alabama or Tennessee from the storms was near Hartselle, where a tornado (rated F-2) overturned and rolled a single-wide trailer to the point that a man was trapped inside. He was rescued, but then died from his injuries. 

For the tornadoes we had in our neck of the woods, getting out of a mobile home and into an anchored-down house, in a small central room on the ground floor, was enough. Some of the places in the path of this supercell thunderstorm across Mississippi, it is obvious to most of us that people really needed to be able to get to an actual storm shelter to have a good chance of surviving without injury. And I think the opportunity to do that was in short supply. I wish people in those situations could get out of a house and into a storm shelter, but maybe I'm being overly idealistic there. (Most in the weather community in modern times would say that I am. They take a fatalistic attitude, that if someone dies while taking shelter properly in a site-built home, it was "just their day to go".) A lot of our problem is just getting people out of mobile homes and into a structure that is properly anchored down to the ground. So that they at least have a chance. Once again, my mind drifts back to one of the best weather discussions I've ever heard, between the tornado outbreaks of April 15 and 27 in 2011. I was particularly impressed by what Tim Coleman said toward the end of the conversation, that he got "the buzzer" for. 

Anyway here are the tornado reports for now. I guess it wouldn't hurt to take a deep breath and be glad that most people in the path of these tornadoes, at least in our immediate area, did manage to survive without serious injury. It sure can go worse during an overnight event. 



659 

NOUS44 KHUN 252312

PNSHUN

ALZ001>010-016-TNZ076-096-097-261115-


Public Information Statement

National Weather Service Huntsville AL

612 PM CDT Sat Mar 25 2023


...NWS Damage Survey for 03/25/2023 Tornado Event...


.Hartselle Tornado...


Rating:                 EF2

Estimated Peak Wind:    115 mph

Path Length /statute/:  13.5601 miles

Path Width /maximum/:   175.0 yards

Fatalities:             1

Injuries:               0


Start Date:             03/25/2023

Start Time:             12:23 AM CDT

Start Location:         8 N Upshaw / Lawrence County / AL

Start Lat/Lon:          34.4016 / -87.1348


End Date:               03/25/2023

End Time:               12:29 AM CDT

End Location:           2 NNE Hartselle / Morgan County / AL

End Lat/Lon:            34.4647 / -86.9139


Survey Summary:

NWS and Morgan County EMA observed extensive damage in western

Morgan County consistent with a low-end EF 2 tornado. 


The tornado likely first touched down between CR 203 and Highway 157 in far

eastern Lawrence County. Minor roof damage to chicken houses was

noted at this location before the tornado crossed the highway,

heading toward Danville. Sporadic tree damage was observed near

the Highway 36 and CR 200 area. Minor damage was noted around

Danville High School with the football scoreboard partially

destroyed. The tornado intensified as it tracked east-northeast

toward Targum Rd. Uprooted trees, minor damage to a home, and a

destroyed carport were observed. Tracking east, the tornado

uprooted and snapped a significant number of trees along Iron Man

Rd. and Forest Chapel Rd. While there was heavy structural damage

to single-family homes, the bulk of the damage was due to trees

falling on houses. The tornado remained on the ground uprooting

trees and tracking toward Vaughn Bridge Road. Near the Vaughn

Bridge and Vest Rd intersection, the tornado lifted and snapped

the anchoring system of a single-wide mobile home. This caused

the unit to overturn and role, destroying the home. One fatality

was reported at this location. Given the degree of damage, and

strapping of anchors to the I-beam, the damage indicator held

consistent with expected wind speed values. As the tornado

tracked east, numerous more trees were uprooted causing structure

damage along Highway 31 and further east on Sparkman St and

through Bethel Rd. The tornado likely lifted before the Bethel Rd

and I-65 intersection. 



.Laceys Spring...


Rating:                 EF1

Estimated Peak Wind:    94 mph

Path Length /statute/:  2.09 miles

Path Width /maximum/:   325.0 yards

Fatalities:             0

Injuries:               0


Start Date:             03/25/2023

Start Time:             12:47 AM CDT

Start Location:         10 WNW Union Grove / Morgan County / AL

Start Lat/Lon:          34.4758 / -86.6003


End Date:               03/25/2023

End Time:               12:50 AM CDT

End Location:           8 WNW Union Grove / Morgan County / AL

End Lat/Lon:            34.479 / -86.5642


Survey Summary:

A NWS damage survey tracked tornado damage in northeastern Morgan

County, associated with the same storm that produced the

Hartselle tornado. Damage was consistent with EF1 winds of 94

mph.


Many damage indicators were in the form of uprooted trees and

minor structural damage. The tornado likely touched down near the

Highway 32 and Crisco Cir intersections. Tracking east-northeast,

numerous trees were uprooted along Rescue Rd. Near Rescue Rd and

Hwy 231, an unanchored shed was destroyed. The tornado crossed

the highway and uprooted many more trees along Old Silo Rd and

also damaged the roof to chicken houses. The tornado likely

lifted just west of the Morgan County and Marshall County line. 



&&


EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the

following categories:


EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph

EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph

EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph

EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph

EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph

EF5...Violent...>200 mph


NOTE:

The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to

change pending final review of the events and publication in NWS

Storm Data.


$$


Barron/Cramer


468 

NOUS44 KHUN 252303

PNSHUN

ALZ001>010-016-TNZ076-096-097-261115-


Public Information Statement

National Weather Service Huntsville AL

603 PM CDT Sat Mar 25 2023


...NWS Damage Survey for 3/24/23 Tornado Event...


.Fayetteville, TN Tornado...


Rating:                 EF2

Estimated Peak Wind:    118 mph

Path Length /statute/:  3.9619 miles

Path Width /maximum/:   300 yards

Fatalities:             0

Injuries:               0


Start Date:             03/24/2023

Start Time:             11:59 PM CDT

Start Location:         1 WSW Fayetteville / Lincoln County / TN

Start Lat/Lon:          35.1454 / -86.5794


End Date:               03/25/2023

End Time:               12:05 AM CDT

End Location:           3 E Fayetteville / Lincoln County / TN

End Lat/Lon:            35.1497 / -86.5115


Survey Summary:

An NWS storm survey team analyzed that an EF-2 tornado occurred

in Fayetteville, TN in Lincoln County. The tornado formed on

Amana Ave with minor roof and shingle damage to single family

homes. It tracked due east into the Fairgrounds where it uplifted

reinforced roofing to horse stalls, and destroyed  a large

outdoor shed approximately 80ft by 30ft that had several

4x4 support beams anchored with concrete snapped near the base.

The tornado then rolled  a large horse trailer next to the

building approximately 80 yards. It continued to snap trees and

power lines heading east. As it approached Hedgemont Avenue,

several residential and commercial structures had roofing and

siding damage. The tornado crossed Main Ave S and snapped several

Bradford Pears, then crossed HWY 231. At the Lincoln Medical

Center, power poles were snapped, debris collided with the front

of the building, several cars were lifted and had their windows

blown out, and an exterior wall was disconnected but not

collapsed. The HVAC system was also toppled on the roof. After

damaging the Medical Center, the tornado went through open fields

and wooded areas where numerous trees were snapped and uprooted.

Before lifting, an awning that was reinforced with 4x4s in

concrete was flipped. Just west of Winchester Highway, the

tornado lifted. Thank you to Lincoln County EMA for their 

assistance and guidance throughout the survey process!


&&


EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the

following categories:


EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph

EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph

EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph

EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph

EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph

EF5...Violent...>200 mph


NOTE:

The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to

change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS

Storm Data.


$$


318 

NOUS44 KHUN 252331

PNSHUN

ALZ001>010-016-TNZ076-096-097-261145-


Public Information Statement

National Weather Service Huntsville AL

631 PM CDT Sat Mar 25 2023


...NWS Damage Survey for 03/24/2023 Tornado Event #3... 


..Plantation Springs Tornado...


Rating:                 EF2

Estimated Peak Wind:    120 mph

Path Length /statute/:  0.6019 miles

Path Width /maximum/:   100.0 yards

Fatalities:             0

Injuries:               0


Start Date:             03/24/2023

Start Time:             10:54 PM CDT

Start Location:         1 S Saint Florian / Lauderdale County /

AL

Start Lat/Lon:          34.849 / -87.6285


End Date:               03/24/2023

End Time:               10:56 PM CDT

End Location:           1 SSE Saint Florian / Lauderdale County /

AL

End Lat/Lon:            34.856 / -87.6226


Survey Summary:

Plantation Springs Tornado: The tornado touched down in the

Hunter Ridge subdivision northeast of Florence and south of 

Saint Florian along County Road 61, removing part of a roof 

at the back of the neighborhood. The tornado then moved 

northeast into the Plantation Springs subdivision, damaging 

roofs to 2 homes on the southeastern corner of Plantation 

Springs Drive around the Blackberry Trail Golf Course. The 

tornado then strengthened to its strongest and widest point 

between Cottonwood Trail and Karley Lane, producing the most 

widespread structure damage along its path here. About half 

of the roofs of several homes were destroyed, and the backside

of the homes sustained severe damage as the tornado moved 

through the area. At this point, the tornado was about 100 yards

wide, and producing 120mph winds at peak intensity at this 

location, classifying it as an EF2 tornado. The last house 

on the northeast corner of Plantation Springs Drive sustained 

the worst damage near the golf course, with more than half the

roof destroyed and two rooms with walls collapsed at this location.

Thankfully, the tornado lifted shortly after this last house on 

the street, and little/no damage was noted to the northeast of 

this location back onto County Road 61. Path length was 0.6 miles,

beginning at 10:54 PM and ending at 10:56 PM. 


City of Florence Thunderstorm Wind Damage: As a line of severe storms 

moved across the city of Florence, numerous trees were snapped and

uprooted. NWS and EMA officials scoured numerous streetsin North 

Florence, trying to find some sort of path to the damage, but it 

was too widespread to determine that it was a tornado that moved 

through the city. Most/all of the trees were blown down and facing 

the northeast, including several large oak trees that were several 

feet in diameter. After assessing the damage to North Florence, it 

was determined that thunderstorm winds of 70-80mph occurred between 

North Wood Avenue, Chisolm Road, Hermitage Drive, eastward to 

Helton Drive/Hwy 157. 


Thanks to the Lauderdale County EMA for their assistance with the

storm surveys. 


&&


EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the

following categories:


EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph

EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph

EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph

EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph

EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph

EF5...Violent...>200 mph


NOTE:

The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to

change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS

Storm Data.


$$

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