Eleven Tornadoes Confirmed From Thursday’s Storms, More Surveys To Come

| March 16, 2019 @ 6:52 pm

As of 5:15 pm today, NWS Birmingham has determined that a total of 10 tornadoes touched down across Central Alabama during the severe weather event back on Thursday. At this time, there are still four locations to survey, so the total number of tornadoes may go up. Here are the 10 confirmed tornadoes (info from NWS Birmingham):

BLOUNT COUNTY: County Road 1
Estimated peak winds: 65 MPH
Path width: 115 yards
Path length: 2.6 miles

The tornado touched down along and parallel to Tim King Road with mainly damage to soft and hardwood trees. Some trees were uprooted as it moved northeast crossing County Road 1. The tornado continued northeast entering into Sand Valley. Many locations through the valley were inaccessible due to the terrain. The tornado moved into slightly higher ground as it began to lift along Sawyer Mountain Road damaging several additional trees and a porch structure on a well-
built single family home. The tornado damage path was 2.6 miles long and 115 yards wide at its widest point.

Estimated peak winds: 90 MPH
Path width: 600 yards
Path length: 4.3 miles

The tornado touched down near Tidwell Hollow Rd where several soft and hardwood trees were damaged and uprooted. The tornado then moved northeast along Tidwell Hollow Rd crossing Lake Drive. It then crossed over a mobile home park where additional trees were uprooted and numerous mobile homes were severely damaged or destroyed from falling trees. It is noteworthy that nearly all of the mobile homes and several vehicles damaged were due to uprooted trees and not direct wind damage. The tornado continued northeast along Highway 75, where an outdoor building was completely destroyed. The tornado then crossed Boat Landing Road where numerous soft and hardwood trees were snapped or uprooted. This is the approximate location of the greatest intensity and widest point. The tornado then continued east along Springville Blvd., where additional trees were uprooted and several single family homes sustained minor roof damage. A destroyed barn was also observed near Old Brook Ln. The tornado began to lift near Woodard Drive where additional trees were uprooted. The tornado damage path was 4.3 miles long and 600 yards wide at its widest point.

Estimated peak winds: 70 MPH
Path width: 100 yards
Path length: 3.8 miles

The tornado touched down in rural northwest Perry County along Willie Martin Road. This location is about 5 miles northwest of Heiberger, west of AL Highway 5. The tornado moved almost due east and crossed Burlia Curb Road and Jack Green Road. The tornado lifted near the intersection of Alvin Carter Road and Ironville Road, about a mile west of Heiberger. The tornado damage was limited to trees in this rural area. Numerous trees were snapped off and uprooted and a few trees blocked roadways. The tornado damage path was 3.8 miles long and was 100 yards wide at its widest point.

Estimated peak winds: 75 MPH
Path width: 400 yards
Path length: 3.2 miles

The tornado touched down just west of Central Mills Road (County Road 1) in far southern Perry County. This located is about 7 miles south southeast of Uniontown. The tornado tracked eastward and crossed County Road 1 and White Hill Road. Several trees were snapped off and many treetops were removed. One home had a large section of its roof removed, but it appears that the wind got under the porch overhang, and lifted metal paneling and roof. The tornado then took a slight left turn and crossed Rev RL Flowers Road and into Dallas County. The tornado ended shortly thereafter. The tornado lifted about 5 miles northwest of Safford. The tornado damage was mainly limited to all tree damage and was mainly in very rural areas. The tornado damage path was 3.2 miles long and was 400 yards wide at its widest point.

CHILTON & COOSA COUNTIES: Chilton/Coosa Lay Lake
Estimated peak winds: 85 MPH
Path width: 350 yards
Path length: 12.0 miles

The tornado began just east of Interstate 65 near Alabama Highway 145 where there was minor tree damage and roofing/wall damage to a site-built home. As the tornado continued eastward, the density of damage increased. Several pine trees were snapped and uprooted, along with sheet metal peeling of manufactured homes and barns/outbuildings near County Road 249. A mixture of tree damage and EF-0 caliber structural damage was observed all the way to the Lay Lake crossing along and adjacent to Coosa County Road 55. The tornado crossed the lake, with additional tree damage along Little Tom Road/Coosa County Road 125. Due to sub-par road conditions and gated roadways, the team was not able to follow any further damage into the heavily forested area. Based on an increasingly broad meso on RADAR and dissipating TDS, this path was terminated within the forested area east and northeast of Little Tom Road. However, this storm cycled and went on to produce 3 additional EF-0 tornadoes. The tornado damage path was 12.0 miles long and was 350 yards wide at its widest point.

COOSA COUNTY: County Road 56
Estimated peak winds: 70 MPH
Path width: 40 yards
Path length: 0.62 miles

The same storm that produced the EF-0 tornado either side of Lay Lake went on to spawn a brief tornado of EF-0 intensity along Coosa Road 56. The only damage observed consisted of snapped and uprooted trees. The short damage path was 0.62 miles long and was 40 yards wide at its widest point.

AUTAUGA COUNTY: County Road 15
Estimated peak winds: 100 MPH
Path width: 50 yards
Path length: 7.1 miles

The tornado touched down just west of County Road 15, near the intersection of County Road 45. This location is about 10 miles northwest of Autaugaville. A few homes suffered minor roof damage and several trees were uprooted or were snapped off. The tornado moved northeast along County Road 15 and damaged numerous trees. The tornado turned eastward and crossed County Road 38, County Road 40, County Road 79, and County Road 137. Trees were downed along the way. The tornado weakened and narrowed east of County Road 137 and then lifted before it crossed US Highway 82. The end location is about 8 miles northwest of Booth. Much of the damage was confined to trees along the path. The tornado damage path was 7.1 miles long and was 50 yards wide at its widest point. Some path adjustments may be made after some drone footage is reviewed.

Estimated peak winds: 70 MPH
Path width: 150 yards
Path length: 2.06 miles

From the same cyclic supercell that produced 2 earlier EF-0 tornadoes, a third EF-0 tornado occurred in far northeast Coosa County on the north side of Goodwater. Damage (fairly spotty) was limited to snapped and uprooted trees, aside from some minor peeling of metal roof covering. The tornado damage path was 2.06 miles long and was 150 yards wide at its widest point.

Estimated peak winds: 120 MPH
Path width: 650 yards
Path length: 8.5 miles

The tornado touched down near Shoal Creek Drive on the western shores of Jordan Lake. The initial damage was rather weak and confined to tree damage. But the tornado intensified quickly as it moved across Blackberry Road. Many homes suffered minor roof damage and numerous trees were snapped off and were uprooted. Several landed on homes. The tornado then crossed Jordan Lake and caused extensive damage on Red Bone Drive, Speigner Road, Shady Lane Road, Jones Corner Road, Montana Drive, and Dakota Drive. Hundreds of trees were downed, many power poles were downed and several homes suffered roof damage. The tornado continued northeastward and crossed Thornton Road. This is where the strongest damage occurred. Several homes lost entire roofs and a few walls in this location. The continued northeast and crossed US Highway 231 and then produced damaged down Laurel Creek Road. One service station sustained extensive damage and numerous trees and power lines were downed in this area. The tornado paralleled Laurel Creek Road and knocked trees down until lifting just before Antioch Road. Over the entire path, at least 35 power poles were snapped and downed, at least 50 structures suffered damage, 2 convenience stores were damaged, a few homes had roofs removed and walls collapsed, and one car was moved over 30 yards. The tornado damage path was 8.5 miles long and was 650 yards wide at its widest point. Some path adjustments may be made after some drone footage is reviewed.

Estimated peak winds: 70 MPH
Path width: 75 yards
Path length: 4.33 miles

As the supercell storm continued toward the Georgia state line, it produced a fourth EF-0 tornado in the Wedowee area. Damage was very spotty/isolated, suggestive of a fairly weak circulation from a pasture area just off County Road 15 and Main Street South, northeast to the Highway 48 and County Road 56 intersection area. A barn/outbuilding was destroyed along with roofing damage done to the corner of one of five chicken houses, with no tree damage nearby. This further points toward a weak circulation that as only able to damage vulnerable structures with wind entry/uplift points. The tornado damage path was 4.33 miles long and was yards wide at its widest point.

NWS Huntsville also confirms one tornado touchdown in North Alabama. Here is the info from NWS Huntsville:

CULLMAN COUNTY: White City to Holly Pond
Estimated peak winds: 105 MPH
Path width: 112 yards
Path length: 11.07 miles

The tornado touched down 0.2 mi southwest of White City, snapping and uprooting several hardwood trees. The tornado then damaged the White City Community Center, lifting up portions of the roof and peeling back sheets of the metal roof structure. A house next door to the community center sustained minor damage when trees fell around and partially onto the house. Some of these trees were more than 5 feet in diameter and were a combination of either snapped or uprooted. Across the street at this location as well, an outdoor storage shed was blown over. Damage in White City was consistent with an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of 105mph. Maximum width likely occurred here and was measured as 112 yards wide.

The tornado moved northeast of White City, snapping random hardwood trees along its path as the storm moved northeast toward Holly Pond. Additional damage was noted near the intersection of County Roads 610 and 63. A small hay barn/storage shed was completely destroyed, and tin was strewn for a couple of hundred yards to the northeast. At this location, a cow was injured by flying tin and succumbed to its injuries. Windspeeds at this location were around 103mph. Northeast of this location, the tornado began to cycle, and damage was weakened and sporadic from here to County Road 799. At this location, several outbuilding and storage buildings were damaged. Windspeeds here were about 75mph.

The tornado strengthened again as it approached Holly Pond, specifically along Highway 278 near the intersection of County Road 1682, fairly significant damage was noted to a former chicken house used as a storage building. The entire roof was removed and tin strewn for about 50-100 yards. The tornado was considerably smaller in size at this location, only on the order of 30-40 yards, but was at the peak wind speeds for the track at 105mph. At this location, one of the chicken houses sustained moderate damage. This was near the end of the path of the tornado, which ended producing minor roof damage to a barn on Cemetery Road north of Turkey Hop Road to the northeast of Holly Pond. Wind speeds at the end of the tornado had weakened to 70mph as it lifted shortly after this point on Cemetery Road.

We’ll have an updated list when surveys have completed. Stay posted.

Category: Alabama's Weather, ALL POSTS, Severe Weather

About the Author ()

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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