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Post Storm Discussion & Analysis of Apr. 27 outbreak


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#211
weatherdawg

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I live in Athens, GA. I spent most of Wednesday night reading these forums and tuning in to WSB. Around 1:00 a.m., I felt the need to turn off the computer and head for my living room. No sooner had I made it there, did the sirens start blaring. I headed for the closet off my kitchen and stayed there for about 45 minutes. I got the weirdest looks from people the next day when I told them I had taken shelter.

I grew up in Ohio and have seen firsthand the damage a tornado can do. It amazes me that people are so nonchalant when it comes to severe weather

#212
chrisNJ

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I love the weather and enjoyed the violent storms I grew up with for the first 25 years of my life in Georgia...remember one tornado in I believe 1985 where it hit the Cobb/Marietta Industrial park destroying my dads office building, then hit a neighborhood a few miles away before lifting before it hit my neighborhood. Also remember numerous nights sleeping in the basement. But, I now look back and realize how devastating these can be in the south. God bless to all who were affected or know someone who was affected. This is sad to see but mother nature will always have her might. I also know that if this had been 5,10,15, 20 or more years ago, I bet the death toll is at least doubled. Weather radar and warning systems have come a long way.

Put it this way, Thursday at work in New Jersey we were under a Tornado Warning, but there were no sirens, etc. The south is much more prepared, as they should be.

#213
Blue Ridge

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Morristown's summary of 4/27:

http://www.srh.noaa....l272011outbreak


I want to take this chance to commend MRX on a job well done Wednesday. Many in their CWA (myself included) are hard on the office being somewhat "gun-shy" at times, but they did an outstanding job with this outbreak. Lead time was excellent, and every cell with even a hint of rotation was slapped with a warning. Given the environment, being too careful was impossible. Good job, guys. You saved lives.

#214
audioguy3107

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Add one more to the list....the Hackleburg tornado has been officially designated as an EF-5. It seems the outbreak gets more and more incredible even as we get further away from April 27.

#215
Marion_NC_WX

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It's now been 3 days and the video coverage is still so amazing that is does not seem real but unfortunately it is...here just in the last few minutes I skimmed through video from the Tri-Cities TV market...Tennessee didn't get quite as much national coverage as much as Alabama, so I was not totally aware of how bad things were over around Greene and Washington Counties. You also have the damage over in the Knoxville and Chatanooga DMA.


I think on behalf of all the Western North Carolina members of this forum, I will say that we were extremely fortunate in this historic event that damage was at a very low end. I knew going into Wednesday afternoon that it was going to get really bad to our west but I also felt that those storms, if they got as strong as were progged by the models, would take a run at us here in the Western Carolinas.


I got home about 8:30 Wednesday and got the GRLevel3 zoomed in on that storm as it crossed into Georgia. It looked like that storm got itself back in order east of Rome and held tough all the way across to Rabun County. It was very concerning to me around 10 pm that the cell quickly showed a hook once it got into range of the Greer radar But then between 11 and 12 midnight the Balsam Mountain Range (thank god) did a number on the low level inflow allowing the first storm (which was the long track storm) to finally weaken west of Brevard NC.



I knew that Wednesday would be a long night but around 12:30 I decided to lay down knowing that I had to work at 7 am Thursday Morning. I did keep the cell phone on and the radar running on my laptop. Unfortunately I got aleep when my folks here at home woke me up at around 2:45...the second cell which was trailing the original (long-track) supercell was able to keep its rotation due to the fact that it went a bit further south along the NC/SC line compared to the first storm.


For the most part my folks don't jump in panic when a Tornado Warning is issued. If anything, we run to turn on the TV and that's what I did. None of the Asheville-GSP market stations were breaking in at 2:45, which is par for the course...given the history of the event, I figured our local stations would have taken it more seriously. Anyway I had to watch Eric Thomas and Al Conklin...technically they are not obligated to cover McDowell County but with the fast movement and proximity to Morganton, they did go ahead and starting tracking just east of Marion. That cell did produce a touchdown in Morganton and then EF1 damage in Caldwell and Alexander Counties.



When I look back at everything that transpired, I totally believe that the first range of mountains really were crucial in keeping the damage IMBY to a minimum. If the mountains did not exist, then I think we would be including North Carolina in the states that are being talked about in terms of damage...the conditions, regardless time of day, was ripe for something bad.

#216
Dunkman

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I know this is anecdotal evidence, but where I live it seems to be that a Tornado Watch mean we're going to have a chance of thunderstorms and a Tornado Warning means we may have a tornado. That's just how vast majority of people I interact with think.

Also, the SPC seemingly made a mistake (at least from my vantage point) when they dropped the Tornado Watch in NC during the afternoon of the 27th as, at least in Triad, a lot of baseball games and whatnot were going on when multiple tornado warned cells popped up and there wasn't time for people to find shelter. I rode out a warned storm with larger than quarter sized hail in the dugout of a baseball field and as soon as the watch/warning went up I tried to get my kids and get out of there and literally did not have time to even get away from the field.


#217
reflux

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http://mesonet.agron...N-NOUS44-PNSHUN

841 NOUS44 KHUN 020259PNSHUNALZ003>006-TNZ097-030300-PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTNATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL959 PM CDT SUN MAY 1 2011...LONG TRACK EF-5 TORNADO CONFIRMED ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY...THIS IS UPDATED INFORMATION CONCERNING CUMULATIVE STORM SURVEYINFORMATION OF THE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE INCURRED ACROSS FRANKLINAL...FRANKLIN TN...LAWRENCE...LIMESTONE...AND MADISON COUNTIES. THISINFORMATION IS THE COMBINED EFFORT BY THE NATIONAL WEATHERSERVICE...LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT...A STORM SURVEY EXPERT FROMTHE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE AND COLLABORATION WITH ASTRUCTURAL ENGINEER AND SURVEY EXPERT. DETAILED FINDINGS HAVE FOUNDONE COMPLETE TORNADO TRACK FROM SOUTHERN FRANKLIN COUNTY ALABAMA TONEAR HUNTLAND IN FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE. THE UPDATED INFORMATIONIS AS FOLLOWS:* EVENT TYPE: TORNADO* EVENT DATE: 04/27/11* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 210 MPH* PRELIMINARY RATING: EF-5* PATH LENGTH: APPROXIMATELY 106.9 MILES (FOR THE HUNTSVILLE CWA - CONTINUATION FROM MARION COUNTY ALABAMA). TOTAL PATH LENGTH 132.1 MILES.* MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH: 1.25 MILES* FATALITIES: UNKNOWN TOTAL
* INJURIES: UNKNOWN TOTAL



#218
EmersonGA

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I just got back from a fishing trip to Cataloochee and I got to see a bunch of the storm damage. From Cosby, TN all the way home to Emerson there were trees down along 411. The big ticket item was the Pine Log tornado. You could see the damage from a mile away. The amount of trees snapped off was astounding. I worked for two years repairing buildlings in the Atlanta tornado but this thing was a different beast. The damage was so widespread it was amazing. The tornado looked to be 1 - 1.5 miles wide when it crossed 411. You could also see where it climbed up the mountains to the east of Pine Log. In that respect it reminded me of the Tate, GA tornado from the early 2000s. I've posted a link below of some video I took when the tornado was hitting Pine Log. I don't have any tornado footage but I wanted to show the lightning. It was awe inspiring. As I was taking the video I almost teared up knowing what was happening to my northern neighbors. My church has been doing donations for the Pine Log area. They will take any clothes that they can get so if anyone has anything they want to send up just PM me.

My link

#219
GreensboroWx

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I guess education and understanding on a watch vs warnings can be lacking but I think a majority of the population in the Triad understand the difference between the two. I mean this in all sincerity but maybe your understanding is off.

Basically, the difference between a Tornado watch and a Severe Thunderstorm watch is the greater possibility of a severe thunderstorm to have a tornado. Yes, in both, thunderstorms are likely some of which COULD be severe. A WARNING means either a Tornado (Tornado warning) or a Severe thunderstorm (Severe Thunderstorm) criteria (3/4" hail and/or >55mph wind) has been observed.

I think your statement about SPC is wrong. SPC re-issued the Tornado Watch for our area by mid afternoon on the 27th in PLENTY of time for the athletic directors, etc to take action. In fact, my kids soccer games were postponed because of the watch, which was prudent. In fact, a tornado warned storm rolled my area around 6:45pm, too. Many pictures of a funnel cloud were captured with this storm as it passed overhead.

I know this is anecdotal evidence, but where I live it seems to be that a Tornado Watch mean we're going to have a chance of thunderstorms and a Tornado Warning means we may have a tornado. That's just how vast majority of people I interact with think.

Also, the SPC seemingly made a mistake (at least from my vantage point) when they dropped the Tornado Watch in NC during the afternoon of the 27th as, at least in Triad, a lot of baseball games and whatnot were going on when multiple tornado warned cells popped up and there wasn't time for people to find shelter. I rode out a warned storm with larger than quarter sized hail in the dugout of a baseball field and as soon as the watch/warning went up I tried to get my kids and get out of there and literally did not have time to even get away from the field.



#220
FoothillsNC

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I put together an 8 hour loop using Birmingham long range reflectivity. You can spot the supercell entering near Meridian, and that that path across Tuscaloosa, BHM, near Rome and finally dissipate in the srn Mtns of NC.


#221
audioguy3107

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Looks like it's official........Birmingham NWS has confirmed the Tuscaloosa/Pleasant Grove tornado as a high end EF-4, not a 5. Travelled approx. 80 miles or so. Little surprised, I'm not damage expert, but I really expected some EF-5 damage to be found somewhere along the track. Interesting....I'm sure there will be plenty of writeups and studies done in the future, we'll have to wait and see.

#222
Cheeznado

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Looks like it's official........Birmingham NWS has confirmed the Tuscaloosa/Pleasant Grove tornado as a high end EF-4, not a 5. Travelled approx. 80 miles or so. Little surprised, I'm not damage expert, but I really expected some EF-5 damage to be found somewhere along the track. Interesting....I'm sure there will be plenty of writeups and studies done in the future, we'll have to wait and see.


Trying to compare this with other events is very difficult because the EF scale is really a lot different than the old scale- I suspect if the current survey team could go back in a time machine and rate some of the 1974 F5 tornadoes at least a few of them would be downgraded and if you flip that logic, if this event occurred in 1974 the TCL tornado and probably a few others would be ranked F5. My feeling is that the two are roughly equivalent and there is no way to be more specific than that.

#223
wxlady

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My family in Madison County, AL had been without power since Wednesday afternoon. My brother lives in southern Huntsville and his power was restored last night. My parents live northwest, only about 5 miles southeast of the deadly tornado in Harvest. They probably won't have power for several more days, but they were able to call on their cell phone yesterday thanks to temporary towers erected by AT&T. Amazingly, the only damage at my parents' house was to a dogwood tree. Their neighbors lost a pear tree.

#224
Mahantango

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What is the death toll, and how many are still missing. I haven't heard anything today.

#225
dsaur

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Finally got a chance to post some pics.
This is where the ef 3 crossed Hwy 92 (edit)...about 3 miles from us.
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The other side... going ne toward us.
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Looking off toward where the pads were swept. This is the closest to us...a bit over a mile. Lots of lost roofs here..but I didn't like taking photo's of folks home misfortunes.
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And the east side of 19/41 in SunnySide. This is the fork lift place. The womens home, the convience store and the trailer park are on the other side of the hwy.
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#226
WNCwx

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The GSP WFO has posted a preliminary report on the tornadoes in Northeast Georgia and in North Carolina. It can be found here.

Edited to add a link to the East Tennessee Tornado Outbreak Map.

I've swiped a couple of graphics to post here...

Here is the path of the Goshen Tornado...

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and the path the tornado took NW of Clayton, GA:

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The tornado that the Quadstate Supercell dropped on my county wasn't as bad or long-lived as tornadoes elsewhere...thanks to the very rough terrain in the area. I tweeted the response to this tornado, which included a house being moved off its foundation into the road...

Posted Image


#227
buckeyefan1

  • 4,995 posts
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This is about 20 miles to my south



CALHOUN COUNTY TORNADO

NWS SURVEY CONFIRMED AN EF1 TORNADO WITH WINDS NEAR 100 MPH OCCURED NEAR FT MOTTE, SC AROUND 7:40 AM. DAMAGE WIDTH WAS 1/4 OF A MILE. SURVEY TEAM FOUND NUMEROUS TREES DOWN, AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM OVERTURNED AND A BARN DAMAGED.

Posted Image KCAE Doppler Radar 4 panel view using GR2Analyist software from around 7:35am. 0.5 deg Reflectivity with inflow notch where the tornado was located (upper left ), 0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity (lower left), 0.5 deg Base Velocity (upper right) and 0.5 deg Spectum Width (lower right). Storm Relative Velocity was showing greater than 30 knots of rotational wind shear and Base Velocity was showing greater than 50 knots outbound winds at around 3000 ft AGL.

Fort Motte Damage Photos

Click on the image to view the full size image. (credit photos to NOAA/NWS)

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#228
LiQuiDBuD

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Thanks for posting this. I live in Glenville and there were reports of tornado or straight-line wind damage just a couple miles northeast of my home in the Big Ridge Road area.

The GSP WFO has posted a preliminary report on the tornadoes in Northeast Georgia and in North Carolina. It can be found here.

Edited to add a link to the East Tennessee Tornado Outbreak Map.

I've swiped a couple of graphics to post here...

Here is the path of the Goshen Tornado...

Posted Image





and the path the tornado took NW of Clayton, GA:

Posted Image



The tornado that the Quadstate Supercell dropped on my county wasn't as bad or long-lived as tornadoes elsewhere...thanks to the very rough terrain in the area. I tweeted the response to this tornado, which included a house being moved off its foundation into the road...

Posted Image



#229
localyokelweather

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Detailed images of the Rabun County tornado...

http://vt.realbiz360...ing-691267.html

#230
MariettaWx

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EF-4 Damage in NW Georgia.

http://www.srh.noaa..../catoosa088.JPG

Incredible....

More images from that tornado.

http://www.srh.noaa....10427_svrstorms

Bartow County Tornado Velocity



#231
Weatherkid#27

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I'm going over to the north side of Birmingham on Sunday to help with the cleanup. I'll be around the Pleasant Grove area. I'll try and post some pics afterwards.

#232
NGTim

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EF-4 Damage in NW Georgia.

http://www.srh.noaa..../catoosa088.JPG

Incredible....




Took my oldest son up to Ringgold Friday to help with cleanup, and we wound up on the road in that aerial view. I have never in my life, in person or on TV, seen the result of such a powerful tornado. Words can not describe, especially that section pictured that I would consider ground zero. My heart goes out to those families affected. This place is sort of a valley with the road running through it, and the tornado damage was from one side to another, probably for a half mile or so. That one section was where it was really ugly. We were there a week after it happened, I can't imagine what it must have looked like the day it happened.



#233
Isopycnic

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#234
audioguy3107

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sZJBxHiCRs


Good lord, what the hell was that guy thinking? He's lucky he didn't get killed by flying debris. Other than that, pretty amazing video.

#235
Mr Bob

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We dropped a video out on our web page if you are interested...just from our perspective how it went down...watching the lines go out on the grid between 1600-1800 is pretty amazing...plus my face made for radio is in there too! Plenty of crumpled structures too!

http://www.tva.com/n...jun11/storm.htm

#236
CAD_Wedge_NC

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We dropped a video out on our web page if you are interested...just from our perspective how it went down...watching the lines go out on the grid between 1600-1800 is pretty amazing...plus my face made for radio is in there too! Plenty of crumpled structures too!

http://www.tva.com/n...jun11/storm.htm


Great video!..........I didn't realize the damage to the power grid was that extensive.

#237
gtg947h

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Drove past some of the damage on GA-92 and I-75 this past weekend; no pictures but it was the first time I've seen tornado damage. It was spookier than seeing the Katrina damage in that it was so localized and left stuff on either side almost untouched.

#238
Moose4

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Good lord, what the hell was that guy thinking? He's lucky he didn't get killed by flying debris. Other than that, pretty amazing video.


That guy was mere yards from getting a face full of plate glass window. Unbelievable.

#239
Hobodog

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  • Joined April 28, 2011

Huntsville NWS just upgraded the dekalb county storm to an EF-5.

#240
Ian

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bump

#241
flweathernerd

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  • Joined February 27, 2011

This picture is incredible. Posted on James Spann's blog.

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#242
Hoosier

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This picture is incredible.  Posted on James Spann's blog.

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Yeah, I haven't seen many tornado pics with that amount of damage in the foreground.



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