UPDATE… Another Tornado Confirmed From Wednesday’s Storms

| February 9, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

UPDATE: Another tornado touchdown was confirmed during a damage survey on Friday (2/9/18), making a grand total of 6 tornadoes that occurred during Wednesday morning’s storms. Here is the latest from NWS Birmingham…

Nicholsville (Marengo County)

• EF-0 Tornado (estimated winds of 60 MPH)
• Damage Path Length: 0.80 miles
• Damage Path Width (maximum): 100 yards

A weak EF-0 tornado touched down in the Nicholsville Community in far southern Marengo County. The tornado began roughly just to the northwest of Crystal Lane. Several trees were uprooted or snapped as the tornado crossed Crystal Lane. A barn then sustained significant roof damage, where pieces of the metal roof were thrown about. Additional trees were snapped and uprooted as the tornado crossed County Road 87 and Nicholsville Road. The most significant damage occurred along Nicholsville Road where a portable metal carport was turned upside down, and two large pine trees were snapped. A large barn sustained significant roof damage very close to where the pine trees were snapped. Pieces of the metal roof were thrown at least 100 yards across a field to the east of the barn. A few trees were snapped or had a few large limbs broken off across the field east of Nicholsville Road. The estimated ending point of the tornado was at this location, as no further damage was found to the east.


From NWS Birmingham… (information on the Jemison tornado is located in a previous blog post)

A line of thunderstorms moved across Central Alabama during the morning hours of Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Supercells embedded within the line were responsible for producing large hail, damaging winds, and at least five confirmed tornadoes. An area of damage in southern Marengo County near Sweet Water will be surveyed on Friday to determine if an additional tornado occurred.

Siloam (Sumter County)

• EF-0 Tornado (estimated winds of 80 MPH)
• Damage Path Length: 1.98 miles
• Damage Path Width (maximum): 150 yards

The tornado started on the east side of a private lake south of Buck Creek where it downed 2 trees, one causing minor damage to the westward facing roof of a lake house. The tornado continued generally eastward into a forested area near Buck Creek toward three residences where it downed several trees in a general northerly direction. The tornado continued further east toward a convenience store at the intersection of County Road 9 and Highway 17 where it caused heavy roof damage to the south side of a house and tore two pieces of sheet metal off of the service station on the northeast side. The tornado continued east through a densely forested area with no road access, and timber damage was found further east along a portion of Walker Road between Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 80 where several large trees were downed. The tornado likely dissipated to the east of this point. Dense forest and no roads prevented us from refining the end point.


Shady Grove Road (Bibb County)

• EF-0 Tornado (estimated winds of 65 MPH)
• Damage Path Length: 0.67 miles
• Damage Path Width (maximum): 50 yards

A weak EF-0 tornado touched down just to the west of Shady Grove Road just north of the Randolph Community in SE Bibb County. About 20-30 trees were either snapped or uprooted. Roof damage occurred to one home on Shady Grove Loop when a tree fell on it. Another home had a few shingles removed on Alabama Highway 139. The tornado was estimated to have dissipated just to the east of Highway 139.


Vida Junction (Autauga County)

• EF-0 Tornado (estimated winds of 70 MPH)
• Damage Path Length: 2.09 miles
• Damage Path Width (maximum): 150 yards

A weak EF-0 tornado touched down just to the west of County Road 79 in rural Autauga County and moved eastward crossing County Road 19. Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted along the path. The damage path widened just to the west of County Road 19. A single-family home sustained minor siding damage and several trees were snapped an uprooted around the home. A splattering of debris was noted on two sides of the home. The tornado continued across County Road 19 and quickly dissipated, as no further damage was found further east on U.S. Highway 82.


Gallion (Marengo & Hale counties)

• EF-1 Tornado (estimated winds of 100 MPH)
• Damage Path Length: 11.5 miles
• Damage Path Width (maximum): 1100 yards

The tornado began near the intersection of U.S. Highway 43 and County Road 54 where damage to cedar trees was observed. The tornado continued east through a heavily forested area and crossed French Creek. Tree damage was observed along County Road 1. The tornado moved further east crossing Alabama Highway 69 where, on the north side, a large tree crushed the south side of a single wide mobile home. Further south, on the south side of the path, near Windsor Drive and Alabama Highway 69, a large farm equipment building lost its roof and walls while wooden supports remained intact. Two mobile homes nearby sustained minor damage to their roofs and siding on the south side. A 5th wheel RV camper was blown over and crushed a vehicle. Trees were uprooted and split in the vicinity. The tornado pushed east, paralleling Windsor Drive, and caused additional damage to trees that were either uprooted or split. The damage peaked where a single wide mobile home was lofted and blown to the northeast about 30 feet from its original position. The mobile home was less than a year old but appeared to lack any substantial anchoring system. The walls and roof were completely torn away from the floor base and nearly all of the contents were deposited downwind. This appears to be the climax of the tornado’s intensity, and winds were estimated to be near 100 mph. To the south of the mobile home’s original position was a metal barn that collapsed and destroyed. The tornado continued to the east where it caused damage to an agricultural crop sprinkler system and snapped a power pole along Allenville Road. It then crossed U.S. Highway 80 and damaged two road signs and caused timber damage. The tornado tracked even further east and dissipated just across the Hale County line along Alabama Highway 25 where the timber damage became more sporadic and less defined.


EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories…

EF-0… Weak… (65 to 85 MPH)
EF-1… Weak… (86 to 110 MPH)
EF-2… Strong… (111 to 135 MPH)
EF-3… Strong… (136 to 165 MPH)
EF-4… Violent… (166 to 200 MPH)
EF-5… Violent… (201+ MPH)


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Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

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