The Scottish Inn Tornado (1975)

| February 23, 2013 @ 10:30 am


Weather maps on the morning of Sunday, February 23, 1975 showed a low pressure system over North Central Mississippi. The low was not very strong. At 6 a.m. that morning, the pressure in the low was only 1004 mb.

A warm, moist airmass was in place across Alabama, with temperatures across the central part of the state in the middle 60s. Dewpoints were only a degree or too lower than the air temperatures, indicating the high relative humidity. The proximity of the low, the juicy air mass and a backed, southeasterly surface wind were telltale factors that there would problems during the day.

Just across the border in Georgia, dewpoints were much lower. At Atlanta, the dewpoint was only 52F.

Tornadoes touched down in northeastern Walker County just after 12:30 p.m. Nearly an hour later, an F2 tornado moved through Jones Chapel in Cullman County, destroying four trailers and damaging 23 homes.

But the biggest story of the day was a series of tornadoes that skipped along a 15 mile path across Tuscaloosa County beginning at 12:35 p.m. The first touchdown occurred near Taylorsville. There would be a total of five touchdowns across southeastern Tuscaloosa northeastward to near Holt.

There was particularly heavy damage near I-59 and McFarland Blvd. Most of the upper floor of the Scottish Inn was torn away, killing one housekeeper.

Nearly 300 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with 30 businesses and 21 mobile homes.

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Category: Alabama's Weather, Met 101/Weather History

About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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