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Tuesday evening, residents across Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Suffolk, Va., dialed 911 to report what sounded what a large explosion. Today, a NASA scientist explained that it might have been a meteor.
The area is home to several military bases, so residents are accustomed to loud sounds. This was out of the ordinary, though; several 911 callers reported a loud noise that rattled their screen doors and windows. One woman told the local television station, WAVY, that it felt like an earthquake.
That’s not uncharacteristic for a sonic boom created by a meteor, said Joe Zawodny, a senior research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center.
“A sonic boom is pressure wave, and it mimics an explosion,” Zawodny told Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site of SPACE.com. “They can be quite forceful, and can definitely rattle walls and windows.”
Meteors come in different flavors. Some are iron meteorites, which melt and burn on their way down but remain intact, Zawodny said. The sound is most consistent with a golf ball- size rock of this nature traveling upward of 1,000 mph and leaving a trail of sonic booms as it flies across the sky, most likely quite close to the ground. [Video: Meteors from Halley’s Comet]
Or it could have been caused by a more energetic event. “Other things are made of materials that break up on way down. This thing could have come in sizeable and disintegrated, and that energy dissipated as one big boom as it broke down. So it could have actually been an explosion,” Zawodny said.
One thing it most likely was not caused by was a supersonic military airplane. “That’s always first thing you think of, but that’s a very distinctive sound,” he said. “You hear a double boom from a plane’s sonic boom. And those sonic booms are fairly local and don’t occur along a path, as this noise did.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s consistent with a supersonic rock, or something else coming in from space,” Zawodny said.
Sonic booms from meteors are not a rare event, occurring a dozen times a year over the U.S. This rock was most likely a remnant of a meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet that peaked on May 6, Zawodny said. [Photos of Halley’s Comet]
Zawodny pointed out that this explanation is not conclusive, however, unless someone witnessed the meteor’s fire trail.
“The only other thing that I’ve been holding open as possibility — and this would be quite rare — is this could be a result of an atmospheric ducting phenomenon,” Zawodny said.
This phenomenon requires just-right weather conditions to create layers in the atmosphere that then act as a wave guide and channel sound waves from one place to another, sometimes over long distances.
“We’ve had the right temperature profile in the area [to create an atmospheric duct],” Zawodny said. “There could have been an offshore Navy thing that made sound that traveled along the duct inland. It would have had to be a really huge sound, though.”
“It’s a really remote possibility,” he added. “But I’m a scientist, and without conclusive evidence, you gotta have a little wiggle room.”
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR SOUTHEAST AL...EASTERN FL PANHANDLE ... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 836 PM EDT FRI MAY 13 2011 HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY LOW TEMPERATURE PAST 18 HOURS 24 HOUR PRECIPITATION ENDING AT 8PM EDT / 7PM CDT .BR TAE 0513 E DH20/TAIRZX/DH20/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - EASTERN TIME ZONE :AS OF 8PM EDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : TLH : TALLAHASSEE : 92 / 64 / 0.00 AAF : APALACHICOLA : 84 / 62 / 0.02 40J : PERRY : 89 / 63 / 0.88 CTY : CROSS CITY : 91 / 63 / 0.00 JAX : JACKSONVILLE INTL : 95 / 69 / 0.00 ABY : ALBANY : 92 / 63 / 0.00 VAD : MOODY AFB : 93 / 66 / 0.00 VLD : VALDOSTA : 93 / 64 / 0.00 BGE : BAINBRIDGE : 88 / 64 / BIJ : BLAKELY : 90 / 63 / MGR : MOULTRIE : 91 / 68 / TMA : TIFTON : 90 / 68 / TVI : THOMASVILLE : 90 / 69 / : .END .BR TAE 0513 C DH19/TAIRZX/DH19/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ : :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - CENTRAL TIME ZONE :AS OF 7PM CDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : ECP : PANAMA CITY NW INTL ARPT : 85 / 62 / 0.64 PAM : TYNDALL AFB : 82 / 67 / T VPS : EGLIN AFB : 83 / 62 / 0.19 CEW : CRESTVIEW : 89 / 60 / 0.09 PNS : PENSACOLA : 86 / 67 / 0.33 MAI : MARIANNA : 92 / 71 / T MOB : MOBILE : 83 / 67 / 0.07 DHN : DOTHAN : 88 / 67 / 0.01 OZR : OZARK - CAIRNS AIR FIELD : 89 / 63 / 0.18 LOR : FT RUCKER HELIPORT : 88 / 60 / 0.29
Our weather wise question this evening was on Benjamin Franklin, a man known for his many inventions.
However, he was more than just an inventor. He was a meteorologist as well!
During his day, before radar and immediate communication, it was hard to comprehend that the weather you were experiencing wasn’t happening somewhere else. Even if you did, no one knew where it came from and where it was going.
This question intrigued Benjamin Franklin. He had been planning on watching an eclipse one night in 1743 in the town of Philadelphia. Unfortunately the clouds interfered with his plan.
He then found out that the eclipse was visible in Boston that same evening!
This event spurred his desire to explain weather movement, a task he did amazingly accurately for his day!
He also studied many other things that affect our weather, such as the Gulf Stream. He found that this warm stream of water runs like a river off the east coast. His mapping and knowledge of this area aided ship navigation in his time.
His curiosity led to many inventions and explanations we still benefit from today such as the lightning rod.
Pretty impressive for someone who had no formal education after age 10!
TGIF! With that said, what’s the weekend lookin’ like? Everyone has eagerly anticipated the rain for late Friday & Saturday, so I figured I would break it down for everyone in a little more detail.
Starting Friday overnight we will have a few scattered light to moderate showers in the Wiregrass. We are the ONLY part of the state that today (Friday) is not highlighted by the Storm Prediction Center for having a slight risk of severe Thunderstorms. However, tomorrow that changes.
Light to moderate rainfall is likely around 6-11 am….with temps in the 70’s.
The thunderstorm threat mainly lies from late morning after a little daytime heating has built up, into mid afternoon. The threat is not tornadic, but more along the lines of gusty winds and possible hail.
The highest rainfall totals will likely be around southern and southwest Georgia, which could receive close to 1″, however isolated areas areawide could reach 1″ of precipitation from areas under thunderstorms.
Rainfall will begin to taper by mid-afternoon…highs will only reach around 80 degrees….cooler air moves in Saturday evening with lows Sunday morning in the upper 50’s.
Rip current risk will be slightly elevated along the coast on Saturday.
Sunday will begin with some clouds and quickly clear….highs again only top out around 79-81 degrees and cooler at the beaches.
Enjoy your weekend and cross your fingers for good rainfall totals!!
WWUS72 KTAE 120949
URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
549 AM EDT THU MAY 12 2011
COFFEE-DALE-HENRY-GENEVA-HOUSTON-INLAND WALTON-CENTRAL WALTON- HOLMES-WASHINGTON-JACKSON-INLAND BAY-CALHOUN-INLAND GULF-
SOUTH WALTON-COASTAL BAY-COASTAL GULF-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ENTERPRISE…OZARK…FORT RUCKER… DALEVILLE…HEADLAND…ABBEVILLE…GENEVA…HARTFORD…SAMSON… SLOCOMB…MALVERN…TAYLOR…ASHFORD…DOTHAN…KINSEY…
COWARTS…WEBB…COTTONWOOD…REHOBETH…DE FUNIAK SPRINGS… HUDSON…BONIFAY…CRYSTAL LAKE…CHIPLEY…FIVE POINTS…
SANTA ROSA BEACH…PANAMA CITY…PARKER…PORT SAINT JOE
549 AM EDT THU MAY 12 2011 /449 AM CDT THU MAY 12 2011/
A Dense Fog Advisory is Now in Effect Until 9 AM CDT This
Morning for Extreme Southeast Alabama and The Florida Panhandle…
the National Weather Service in tallahassee has issued a dense fog advisory, which is in effect until 9 AM CDT this morning.
* visibility, 1/4 mile or less, but could vary from 6 miles to near zero over a very short distance and time.
* impacts, this fog may make the morning commute hazardous, so drivers are urged to use extra caution this morning.
a dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be
reduced to less than one quarter mile. if driving, slow down, use your low beam headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.
Dothan tied the record high for May 11th with an afternoon temperature of 94 degrees.
Here’s a look at other temperatures around the area…
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR SOUTHEAST AL...EASTERN FL PANHANDLE ... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 842 PM EDT WED MAY 11 2011 HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY LOW TEMPERATURE PAST 18 HOURS 24 HOUR PRECIPITATION ENDING AT 8PM EDT / 7PM CDT .BR TAE 0511 E DH20/TAIRZX/DH20/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - EASTERN TIME ZONE :AS OF 8PM EDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : TLH : TALLAHASSEE : 97 / 60 / 0.00 AAF : APALACHICOLA : 86 / 62 / 0.00 40J : PERRY : 93 / 65 / 0.00 CTY : CROSS CITY : 94 / 64 / 0.00 JAX : JACKSONVILLE INTL : 94 / 66 / 0.00 ABY : ALBANY : 97 / 66 / 0.00 VAD : MOODY AFB : 95 / 68 / 0.00 VLD : VALDOSTA : 97 / 67 / 0.00 BGE : BAINBRIDGE : 93 / 68 / BIJ : BLAKELY : 93 / 64 / MGR : MOULTRIE : 95 / 70 / TMA : TIFTON : 91 / 70 / TVI : THOMASVILLE : 92 / 69 / : .END .BR TAE 0511 C DH19/TAIRZX/DH19/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ : :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - CENTRAL TIME ZONE :AS OF 7PM CDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : ECP : PANAMA CITY NW INTL ARPT : 93 / 64 / 0.00 PAM : TYNDALL AFB : 88 / 62 / 0.00 VPS : EGLIN AFB : 85 / 62 / 0.00 CEW : CRESTVIEW : 96 / 63 / 0.00 PNS : PENSACOLA : 85 / 68 / 0.00 MAI : MARIANNA : 97 / 70 / 0.00 MOB : MOBILE : 89 / 62 / 0.00 DHN : DOTHAN : 94 / 67 / 0.00 OZR : OZARK - CAIRNS AIR FIELD : 94 / 62 / 0.00 LOR : FT RUCKER HELIPORT : 96 / 61 / 0.00
WWUS72 KTAE 111041
URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
641 AM EDT WED MAY 11 2011
GENEVA-HOUSTON-INLAND WALTON-CENTRAL WALTON-HOLMES-WASHINGTON- JACKSON-INLAND BAY-CALHOUN-INLAND GULF-INLAND FRANKLIN-LIBERTY- SOUTH WALTON-COASTAL BAY-COASTAL GULF-COASTAL FRANKLIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…GENEVA…HARTFORD…SAMSON…SLOCOMB… MALVERN…TAYLOR…ASHFORD…DOTHAN…KINSEY…COWARTS…WEBB… COTTONWOOD…REHOBETH…DE FUNIAK SPRINGS…HUDSON…BONIFAY… CRYSTAL LAKE…CHIPLEY…FIVE POINTS…MARIANNA…GRACEVILLE… MALONE…SNEADS…YOUNGSTOWN…BLOUNTSTOWN…WHITE CITY…
WEWAHITCHKA…SWEETWATER…FREEPORT…SANTA ROSA BEACH…
PANAMA CITY…PARKER…PORT SAINT JOE…APALACHICOLA…CARRABELLE 641 AM EDT WED MAY 11 2011 /541 AM CDT WED MAY 11 2011/
Dense Fog Advisory in Effect Until 9 AM EDT /8 AM Cdt/ This
the National Weather Service in tallahassee has issued a dense fog advisory, which is in effect until 9 AM EDT /8 AM cdt/ this morning.
a dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be
reduced to less than one quarter mile. if driving, slow down, use your low beam headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.
Wednesday could see a number of new afternoon high records set around the Wiregrass.
Dothan’s 94 degrees from 1955 is certainly in jeopardy.
Here’s a look at Tuesday’s highs:
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR SOUTHEAST AL...EASTERN FL PANHANDLE ... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 836 PM EDT TUE MAY 10 2011 HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY LOW TEMPERATURE PAST 18 HOURS 24 HOUR PRECIPITATION ENDING AT 8PM EDT / 7PM CDT .BR TAE 0510 E DH20/TAIRZX/DH20/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - EASTERN TIME ZONE :AS OF 8PM EDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : TLH : TALLAHASSEE : 95 / 64 / 0.00 AAF : APALACHICOLA : 88 / 68 / 0.00 40J : PERRY : 92 / 65 / 0.00 CTY : CROSS CITY : 92 / 65 / 0.00 JAX : JACKSONVILLE INTL : 93 / 64 / 0.00 ABY : ALBANY : 97 / 64 / 0.00 VAD : MOODY AFB : 94 / 65 / 0.00 VLD : VALDOSTA : 97 / 65 / 0.00 BGE : BAINBRIDGE : 95 / 68 / BIJ : BLAKELY : 93 / 66 / MGR : MOULTRIE : 95 / 68 / TMA : TIFTON : 91 / 63 / TVI : THOMASVILLE : 91 / 69 / : .END .BR TAE 0510 C DH19/TAIRZX/DH19/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ : :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - CENTRAL TIME ZONE :AS OF 7PM CDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : ECP : PANAMA CITY NW INTL ARPT : 93 / 68 / 0.00 PAM : TYNDALL AFB : 87 / 73 / 0.00 VPS : EGLIN AFB : 88 / 66 / 0.00 CEW : CRESTVIEW : 95 / 63 / 0.00 PNS : PENSACOLA : 88 / 68 / 0.00 MAI : MARIANNA : 98 / 69 / 0.00 MOB : MOBILE : 91 / 67 / 0.00 DHN : DOTHAN : 93 / 69 / 0.00 OZR : OZARK - CAIRNS AIR FIELD : 93 / 65 / 0.00 LOR : FT RUCKER HELIPORT : 95 / 63 / 0.00
On Monday, Wichita Kansas hit 100 degrees, making it the earliest 100 degree day on record there!
Early Tuesday morning, the extreme flooding of the Mississippi River officially showed it cresting in Memphis, Tennessee at 47.85′, more than 14 feet above flood stage!
On Wednesday, Dothan has a high potential of tying or setting a new record high, if we beat the previous record of 94 set back in 1955. We are forecasting 96, and also the last day of a string of 3 in the 90’s.
A new tornado research project released by the University of Akron Ohio shows that the United States doesn’t just have one Tornado Alley…
According to their research there is at least 4 dominant zones where tornadoes are common.
There is the classic “Tornado Alley” which includes eastern Oklahoma, parts of the river valley and all of northwest Arkansas.
But there is a second zone of very high tornado activity which is across the Deep South.
In the research paper, this zone is coined “Dixie Alley” and includes eastern Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama (the very locations that got hammered by the recent tornado outbreak).
Results from this analysis indicate that Dixie Alley has the highest frequency of long-track F3 to F5 tornadoes, making it the most active region in the United States.
The paper also locates a zone of high tornado activity in North Carolina, named “Carolina Alley”, and over Indiana, which is named “Hoosier Alley”.
We all tend to take the wonderful daily show the sky gives us for granted.
Then, every once in a while we see a rainbow.
In our universe there are billions of stars and millions of planets… but there can’t be many other places with rainbows.
We don’t see rainbows every day because everything has to be just right for the sky to produce that perfect arc of color.
To have a rainbow, there has to be rain in front of you, yet the sun has to be out behind you.
The raindrops are tiny spheres, or flattened spheres in the case of big raindrops, falling in the air.
The white light from the sun enters and is reflected off the back of the drops.
But because white light is actually made up of many colors, different colors come out of the raindrop at different angles because of the “refractive” properties of the different colors.
That’s why we see the colors at an angle close to 42 degrees off the sun’s axis as part of a circle, or a “bow.”
If the sun is higher than 42 degrees above the horizon, we can’t see rainbows.
That’s why the lower the sun gets in the sky, the bigger the rainbow gets.
If the sun is fairly high, the rainbow is fairly small.
The next time the rain has just ended and the sun is positioned low in the sky, look for a rainbow.
But it won’t be just any rainbow, it’ll be your very own rainbow!
Because each bow is formed by different raindrops, the person standing right next to you is seeing his or her own rainbow!
As a matter of fact, your left and right eye see the colors reflected and refracted from different raindrops – so each of your eyes has its own rainbow!
These twin waterspouts appeared in the ocean south of Oahu, crossing over one another in a strange, snaky dance.
According to the National Weather Service, they lasted about 12 minutes.
Dueling water spouts are always unusual but not unique… they have been spotted throughout the world – including the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”!
Be sure and watch for the guys in the canoe at the 1:15 mark…
This meteor shower is not as busy or as impressive as some, such as the Orionids meteor shower in late Summer, but there is one thing that makes it very special.
The meteors in this shower are pieces of Halley’s comet, which orbits the sun and is only seen once every 76 years.
Halley’s comet was last seen in 1986, which means the next time it will be visible is 2061… but debris from the comet, seen as meteors, will be visible at the rate of anywhere from 10 to 40 per hour, especially between 3 am and dawn.
The current moon phase is a waxing crescent, which means only 5% of the moon is visible. Local sky condition will be fair to clear tonight, making it an excellent night to catch a few fireballs when they light up the early morning sky!
This will probably be the most incredible storm survey and summary you will ever read.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL 959 PM CDT SUN MAY 1 2011 …LONG TRACK EF-5 TORNADO CONFIRMED ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY… THIS IS UPDATED INFORMATION CONCERNING CUMULATIVE STORM SURVEY INFORMATION OF THE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE INCURRED ACROSS FRANKLIN AL…FRANKLIN TN…LAWRENCE…LIMESTONE…AND MADISON COUNTIES. THIS INFORMATION IS THE COMBINED EFFORT BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE…LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT…A STORM SURVEY EXPERT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE AND COLLABORATION WITH A STRUCTURAL ENGINEER AND SURVEY EXPERT. DETAILED FINDINGS HAVE FOUND ONE COMPLETE TORNADO TRACK FROM SOUTHERN FRANKLIN COUNTY ALABAMA TO NEAR HUNTLAND IN FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE. THE UPDATED INFORMATION IS 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
Tornado tracks across North Alabama on 27 April.
Image courtesy Dave Nadler NWS Huntsville.
FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SURVEY, THE PATH BEGAN AT THE SOUTHERN FRANKLIN COUNTY LINE WITH MARION COUNTY NORTH OF HACKLEBURG. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE TORNADO PATH IN MARION COUNTY…CONSULT INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM. THE SURVEY TEAM TRAVELED THROUGH PHIL CAMPBELL AND WITNESSED CONTINUOUS SIGNIFICANT DEVASTATION THROUGHOUT THE CITY. PROLIFIC DAMAGE WAS NOTED FROM THE INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 51 AND ALABAMA HIGHWAY 237…TO THE INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 81 AND COUNTY ROAD 75. WITHIN A 2 MILE CORRIDOR EITHER SIDE OF THE RAILROAD TRACKS THE DAMAGE WAS SIGNIFICANT. WITHIN THIS CORRIDOR…SEVERAL WELL CONSTRUCTED HOUSES WERE DESTROYED. ALONG BROWN STREET…BLOCK HOMES WERE LEVELED TO THE GROUND. ALONG BONNER STREET…MULTIPLE BLOCK HOMES WERE LEVELED TO THE GROUND WITH THE BLOCK FOUNDATIONS DESTROYED. A 25 FOOT SECTION OF PAVEMENT WAS SUCKED UP AND SCATTERED. CHUNKS OF THE PAVEMENT WERE FOUND IN A HOME OVER 1/3 MILE DOWN THE ROAD. THE DAMAGE IN THIS AREA WAS DEEMED TO BE EF-5. IN ADDITION…AT LEAST 3 CHURCHES ALONG THE PATH SUSTAINED SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE. ONE CHURCH IN PHIL CAMPBELL WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED WITH ONLY THE SLAB REMAINING. MULTIPLE MOBILE HOMES THROUGHOUT THE PATH WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED…AND THEIR MANGLED FRAMES WERE TOSSED 25 TO 50 YARDS. CARS WERE TOSSED AND DESTROYED THROUGHOUT THE PATH OF THE TORNADO…WITH ONE CAR WRAPPED AROUND A DEBARKED TREE IN PHIL CAMPBELL. ALL ALONG THE PATH LENGTH…THOUSANDS OF HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD TREES WERE SNAPPED. HUNDREDS OF TREES WERE ALSO DEBARKED AND TWISTED…AND HAD ONLY STUBS OF LARGEST BRANCHES REMAINING. EF-5 DAMAGE CONTINUED SIMILARLY NORTHEAST FROM PHIL CAMPBELL…ROUGHLY ALONG COUNTY ROADS 81 AND 82 TOWARD THE COMMUNITY OF OAK GROVE.
IN OAK GROVE…THE TORNADO MAY HAVE REACHED A RELATIVE MAXIMUM IN INTENSITY WELL INTO THE EF-5 CATEGORY AS THE DAMAGE WAS SLIGHTLY MORE INTENSE AND THE PATH WIDTH WAS AT A MAXIMUM OF GREATER THAN ONE MILE. A LARGE SWATH OF COMPLETE DEVASTATION WAS NOTED IN OAK GROVE ALONG COUNTY ROADS 38 AND SMITH LANE. A LARGE WELL CONSTRUCTED HOME WITH EXTENSIVE ANCHORING WAS RAZED WITH DEBRIS CARRIED WELL AWAY FROM THE SITE. A CORVETTE WAS MANGLED AND THROWN A MEASURED 641 FEET. ANOTHER LARGE VEHICLE IS STILL MISSING. A BLOCK HOME NEXT DOOR WAS ALSO DISINTEGRATED. ALONG SMITH LANE A BLOCK HOME WAS WIPED OUT AND THE ONLY REMAINS OF A NEARBY CHICKEN HOUSE WAS A SMALL PIECE OF A METAL TRUSS. IN THIS SAME AREA…THE TREE DAMAGE WAS COMPLETE AND A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF TREES WERE STRIPPED BARE.
THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO TRACK NORTHEAST INTO LAWRENCE COUNTY AS AN EF-5 NEAR THE MT. HOPE AREA WHERE SIGNIFICANT DEVASTATION WAS INCURRED TO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES AND A RESTAURANT. NOTHING BUT THE FOUNDATION AND A PILE OF DEBRIS REMAINED IN THIS AREA…AND A SMALL PORTION OF THE RESTAURANT FOUNDATION BUCKLED. THOUSANDS OF HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD TREES WERE SNAPPED…WITH A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF TREES TWISTED AND DEBARKED WITH ONLY STUBS OF BRANCHES REMAINING. MANY MOBILE HOMES WERE ALSO DESTROYED WITH THE FRAMES MANGLED…AND A SINGLE FAMILY HOME WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED WITH THE WALLS AND CONTENTS STREWN OVER A HUNDRED YARDS. FURTHER NORTHEAST THE DAMAGE WAS SLIGHTLY LESS INTENSE (HIGH END EF-3 TO LOW END EF-4)…WITH MORE TREES SNAPPED AND TWISTED AS THE TORNADO REACHED HIGHWAY 24. AT THIS LOCATION 4 CHICKEN HOUSES WERE DESTROYED WITH MUCH OF THE DEBRIS WRAPPED AROUND DEBARKED TREES. TVA HIGH VOLTAGE POWER LINE TRUSSES WERE ALSO DESTROYED AT THIS LOCATION. AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST MORE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OCCURRED IN AND AROUND THE LANGTOWN COMMUNITY NORTH OF MOULTON. ON THE WEST SIDE OF ALABAMA HIGHWAY 33…SEVERAL HOMES SUSTAINED SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WITH ROOFS MISSING OR ONLY INTERIOR ROOMS REMAINING. A NEARBY STORE AND GAS STATION ALSO SUSTAINED SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE. THE TORNADO STRENGTHENED AGAIN TO A HIGH END EF-4 AS IT MOVED INTO COUNTY ROADS 214 AND 298…WHERE MULTIPLE HOUSES AND MOBILE HOMES WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED. SEVERAL CARS WERE TOSSED INTO FIELDS AND WRAPPED AROUND TREES ALONG COUNTY ROAD 291 AND 292. ONE VEHICLE WAS TOSSED INTO A LARGE HARDWOOD TREE THAT WAS ALSO DEBARKED. TREE AND MOBILE HOME DAMAGE CONTINUED ALONG COUNTY ROADS 217 AND 222…WHERE A HANDFUL OF LARGE HIGH TENSION TVA POWER POLES WERE DESTROYED. SUSTAINED EF-4 DAMAGE CONTINUED NORTHEAST TOWARDS ALABAMA HIGHWAY 20…WHERE A RESTAURANT WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED AND TWO SINGLE FAMILY HOUSES WERE SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED. TREE DAMAGE APPEARED TO CONTINUE INTO EXTREME NORTHWESTERN MORGAN COUNTY. LIMESTONE AND MADISON ALABAMA: AN INITIAL AERIAL SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED ON THURSDAY MORNING FROM THE TENNESSEE RIVER ALONG THE LAWRENCE/LIMESTONE COUNTY LINE NORTHEAST THROUGH TANNER AND INTO MADISON COUNTY BEYOND THE ANDERSON HILLS SUBDIVISION. SEVERAL AREAS OF INTENSE DAMAGE WERE NOTED ALONG A SOLID TRACK WITH THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE NOTED NEAR THE COMMUNITY OF TANNER AND NEAR ANDERSON HILLS IN MADISON COUNTY. HOMES WERE COMPLETELY OBLITERATED ALONG A WIDE SWATH IN BOTH OF THESE AREAS. NEARLY A DOZEN HIGH TENSION POWER LINES WERE SNAPPED OR TAKEN TO THE GROUND IN LIMESTONE COUNTY. CONCRETE POWER POLES WERE ALSO SNAPPED OFF AT THEIR BASE. A SUBSEQUENT GROUND TEAM…AIDED BY A STORM SURVEY EXPERT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE…SURVEYED THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE IN LIMESTONE COUNTY. HIGH END EF-3 DAMAGE WAS NOTED OVER A LARGE AREA IN EASTERN LIMESTONE COUNTY ALONG AND NORTH OF THE EAST LIMESTONE HIGH SCHOOL. IN THE COMMUNITY OF TANNER…THE INTENSITY WAS MAXIMIZED IN LIMESTONE COUNTY WITH A LARGE SWATH OF EF-4 DAMAGE AND A NARROW CORRIDOR OF HIGH END EF-4 TO NEAR EF-5 DAMAGE. SEVERAL WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WITH ANCHOR BOLTING WERE COMPLETELY WIPED CLEAN. ONE HOME HAD THE DEBRIS LOFTED OVER 300 HUNDRED YARDS WITH LARGE ITEMS CARRIED COMPLETELY AWAY. INTENSE GROUND SCARRING WAS NOTED IN THIS AREA. IN ADDITION…A LARGE CARGO CONTAINER WAS PICKED UP AND BLOWN APPROXIMATELY 600 YARDS AND SEVERAL CARS WERE CARRIED AIRBORNE FOR HUNDREDS OF YARDS. IN ALL…HUNDREDS OF HOMES RECEIVED MODERATE TO MAJOR DAMAGE ALONG THE PATH WITH MANY OF THESE BEING TOTAL LOSSES. THE TORNADO CROSSED INTO MADISON COUNTY EAST OF THE LIMESTONE COUNTY PRISON…ALONG ORVIL SMITH ROAD WITH A PATH WIDTH OF 1/2 MILE. THE TORNADO MAINTAINED AN EF-3 STRENGTH WITH WINDS OF 140 TO 160 MPH AND A PATH WIDTH OF 1/4 TO 1/2 MILE FOR MUCH OF ITS TRACK EAST-NORTHEAST ACROSS OLD RAILROAD BED ROAD AND FORD CHAPEL ROAD…BEFORE NARROWING TO AROUND 300 YARDS IN ANDERSON HILLS. DOZENS OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WERE DESTROYED…IN SOME CASES WITH ALL EXTERIOR WALLS COLLAPSING IN BOTH SINGLE AND TWO STORY HOMES. AT LEAST 3-5 MOBILE HOMES WERE EITHER DESTROYED OR SWEPT COMPLETELY. AT LEAST 2 OTHER WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES HAD COMPLETE WALL COLLAPSE IN ANDERSON HILLS AND WERE SHIFTED OFF THEIR FOUNDATION. THIS DAMAGE WAS ONCE AGAIN CONSISTENT WITH LOW END EF-4 WIND SPEEDS OF AROUND 170 MPH. NUMEROUS TALL PINES AND OTHER HARDWOOD TREES WERE SNAPPED…UPROOTED AND DEBARKED ALONG THE ENTIRE PATH. THE PATH WIDTH WIDENED ONCE AGAIN TO UP TO 1/2 MILE AS THE TORNADO TRACKED THROUGH RESIDENTIAL AREAS ALONG BALD EAGLE LANE…OLD ELI ROAD…AND GINNERY ROW. AT LEAST TWO OF THESE HOMES HAD COMPLETE WALL COLLAPSE…BUT THESE STRUCTURES HAD FOUNDATION STRAPS AND NAILS IN LIEU OF BOLTS. AT LEAST ONE FATALITY WAS CONFIRMED AT ONE OF THESE RESIDENCES. THIS DAMAGE WAS CONSISTENT WITH HIGH END EF-3 WIND SPEEDS OF 140 TO 160 MPH. THE TORNADO LIFTED JUST SOUTH OF PATTERSON LANE AFTER TWISTING IRRIGATION EQUIPMENT AND SNAPPING ADDITIONAL TREES. AN EF0 TORNADO WITH PEAK WIND SPEEDS OF 70 MPH REDEVELOPED ALONG GRIMWOOD ROAD AND WALKER LANE SOUTH OF HAZEL GREEN…UPROOTING OR SNAPPING A FEW TREES. THE TORNADO WEAKENED OR MAY HAVE LIFTED VERY BRIEFLY ACROSS NORTHEAST MADISON COUNTY BEFORE STRENGTHENING AGAIN AS IT ENTERED FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE. DURING MUCH OF THE LIFECYCLE OF THIS TORNADO ACROSS NORTH ALABAMA… THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF POSSIBLE SATELLITE VORTICES WHICH CAUSED POINTS OF MORE SEVERE DAMAGE AS COMPARED TO ADJACENT RESIDENCES. THERE WERE ALSO SEVERAL TREES KNOCKED DOWN JUST OUTSIDE THE PERIPHERY OF THE TORNADIC CIRCULATION WHICH WERE LIKELY DUE TO MESOCYCLONE WINDS WHICH WERE CONVERGENT TOWARD THE TORNADO. FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE: MORE STORM DAMAGE WAS SURVEYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSONAL ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ACROSS SOUTHWEST FRANKLIN COUNTY TENNESSEE. THE LONG TRACKED TORNADO THAT AFFECTED PARTS OF NORTHERN ALABAMA CREATED MORE DAMAGE SOUTH OF HUNTLAND. ISOLATED AND MINOR EF-0 TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED AT THE INTERSECTION OF JOHN HUNTER HIGHWAY (STATE ROUTE 122) AND LIMESTONE ROAD NEAR THE LINCOLN/FRANKLIN COUNTY LINE. MORE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WAS NOTED…STARTING ABOUT 1.4 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF HUNTLAND. A CINDER BLOCK BUILDING SUFFERED DAMAGE TO ITS FLAT ADOBE ROOF…WITH SOME OF BLOCKS NEAR THE ROOF (AROUND 20 FEET OFF OF THE GROUND) PUSHED OUT…RESULTING IN EF-2 DAMAGE. SURVEYORS COULD NOT DIRECTLY EXAMINE THE ROOF GIVEN THIS BUILDING WAS ON THE HIGHEST GROUND IN THE VICINITY. NEARBY…A SINGLE FAMILY HOME OF CINDER BLOCK CONSTRUCTION HAD ITS ROOF TOTALLY REMOVED…WITH ANOTHER HOME ABOUT 1000 FEET AWAY HAVING SIGNIFICANT ROOF DAMAGE…WITH OVER ONE HALF OF ITS ROOF REMOVED…AND SOME SHIFTING OFF OF ITS FOUNDATION. DAMAGE WITH THE LATTER WAS CONSISTENT WITH HIGH END EF-2 DAMAGE. A CHICKEN BUILDING NEARBY THE SECOND HOME…WITH METAL GIRDING WAS COMPLETELY FLATTEN…CONSISTENT WITH EF-2 DAMAGE. A FARM COMPLEX SOUTH OF HICKORY GROVE ROAD HAD DAMAGE TO A NUMBER OF STRUCTURES THERE. THE HOME AND THE MAIN CAR GARAGE HAD PART OF THEIR ROOFS REMOVED. A BARN THAT WAS PROTECTING BALES OF HAY WAS DESTROYED…WITH A FEW OF BALES BLOWN FROM 100-200 FEET FROM THEIR ORIGINAL LOCATION. THE WORST DAMAGE WAS NOTED WITH LOWER END EF-3 DAMAGE TO A CINDER BLOCK UTILITY BUILDING ABOUT 200 FEET SOUTH OF THE PRIMARY RESIDENCE. MOST OF ITS ROOF WAS REMOVED…WITH OVER HALF OF ITS DOWNWIND WALL PUSHED OUTWARD. AN OLDER BARN NEARBY SUFFERED LESSER EF-0 DAMAGE TO IT ROOF…WHILE THE TOP HALF OF A SILO NEAR THAT BARN WAS MISSING. ANOTHER BARN STRUCTURE WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED NORTHWEST OF THE PRIMARY HOME. THE WIDTH AT THIS POINT WAS APPROXIMATELY 1/4 MILE. OTHER DAMAGE WAS NOTED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF HICKORY GROVE ROAD AND SUGAR COVE ROAD…WITH EF-1 DAMAGE TO SOME HEAVY FARM EQUIPMENT AND EF-0 ROOF DAMAGE TO A NEARBY BARN. SCATTERED TREES WERE DOWNED TO THE NORTHEAST…WITH 8 INCH FENCE POSTS 18 INCHES DEEP PULLED UP NEAR HICKORY GROVE AND BUNCOMBE ROAD. THERE WAS EVIDENT THE TORNADO CONTINUED TOWARD MOUNTAINS A FEW MILES FURTHER EAST…WITH SOME TREES DAMAGED ALONG THE RIDGE. SURVEYED BY: WFO HUNTSVILLE STAFF AND DR. KEVIN KNUPP/UAH
This is an image from the National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL) in Norman, OK, showing a composite of all the Doppler radars information as tornadoes carved their paths through the South on April 27, 2011.
The long yellow lines are the tracks of the rotating supercells. The red indicates intense rotation where tornadoes were likely were on the ground.
Click the image for a larger version and then zoom in with your cursor.
The network of Doppler radars allowed forecasters to give an average of 24 minutes warning in advance of the tornadoes.
When the creative juices just aren’t flowing, I ask my viewers what they want me to help explain/blog about. Today a woman asked how to prepare for hurricanes. While this to some may seem like an “evergreen” topic, it is one we must always be ready for and as we are 1 month away from the Calender beginning (June 1st) NOW is a good time for Gulf Coast and Wiregrass residents to prepare.
The biggest issue with hurricanes and inland areas is typically NOT wind damage, but flooding. That is the biggest problem for Wiregrass residents. Many people still do not realize that Flooding insurance is a SEPARATE and ADDITIONAL portion of homeowners/renters insurance. Now is the time to review your personal home insurance plan and make sure you have adequate coverage to prevent flood damage loss. Hurricanes move much slower than frontal storms and have the ability to dump tremendous amounts of rain over a short period of time. While I was in college, one Tropical Storm (did not even have wind speeds at hurricane strength anymore) dropped nearly foot and a half of rain in one day over east central Florida!! Flooding can ruin homes, cause mold, fester disease and also become a great environment for parasites and insects, especially combined with summer heat.
Wind damage and tornadoes being spawned are the first things we think of with hurricane damage typically, so with this we want to prepare for losing power. Non-perishable food items and water for at least three days on hand is recommended. Have important documents in a safe, waterproof container as well as any needed immediate medications. Don’t for get your pets! They will need food too in the event stores are shut down or inaccessable.
Flashlights, trashbags, and a spare set of socks and shoes as well as yard gloves are essential items post-storm. They will prevent you from getting sick, and aid in cleanup.
If you must leave for a storm, follow the news closely and make sure to have a full tank of gas, and cash handy. I have seen from experience that a gas station will not run out of gas any faster than when a tropical system is looming.
If a storm even if it isn’t hurricane strength anymroe approaches, it’s always good to have yards cleared of debris, and brush. These things can easily take flight in not much wind.
These are all just a few things we need to start thinking about now…even though the really active period of Hurricane season is Mid September into October. It’s always great to be prepared!
MAX/MIN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR SOUTHEAST AL...EASTERN FL PANHANDLE ... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 832 PM EDT TUE MAY 3 2011 HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY LOW TEMPERATURE PAST 18 HOURS 24 HOUR PRECIPITATION ENDING AT 8PM EDT / 7PM CDT .BR TAE 0503 E DH20/TAIRZX/DH20/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - EASTERN TIME ZONE :AS OF 8PM EDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : TLH : TALLAHASSEE : 86 / 63 / 0.00 AAF : APALACHICOLA : 84 / 65 / 0.00 40J : PERRY : 85 / 66 / 0.00 CTY : CROSS CITY : 87 / 66 / 0.00 JAX : JACKSONVILLE INTL : 87 / 60 / 0.00 ABY : ALBANY : 93 / 65 / 0.00 VAD : MOODY AFB : 89 / 62 / 0.00 VLD : VALDOSTA : 91 / 63 / 0.00 BGE : BAINBRIDGE : 88 / 63 / BIJ : BLAKELY : 91 / 61 / MGR : MOULTRIE : 90 / 64 / TMA : TIFTON : 88 / 61 / TVI : THOMASVILLE : 88 / 65 / : .END .BR TAE 0503 C DH19/TAIRZX/DH19/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ : :AIRPORT OBSERVATIONS - CENTRAL TIME ZONE :AS OF 7PM CDT : : MAX MIN : TEMP TEMP PCPN : ECP : PANAMA CITY NW INTL ARPT : 86 / 63 / 0.00 PAM : TYNDALL AFB : 82 / 63 / 0.00 VPS : EGLIN AFB : 82 / 70 / 0.00 CEW : CRESTVIEW : 89 / 61 / 0.00 PNS : PENSACOLA : 85 / 63 / T MAI : MARIANNA : 93 / 63 / 0.00 MOB : MOBILE : 84 / 57 / 0.01 DHN : DOTHAN : 89 / 63 / 0.00 OZR : OZARK - CAIRNS AIR FIELD : 88 / 66 / 0.00 LOR : FT RUCKER HELIPORT : 91 / 63 / 0.00
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL TUE MAY 3 2011 THE COOLER AIR WILL RUSH IN QUICKLY...BUT SINCE THE CLOUD COVER WON`T CLEAR THE REGION UNTIL AFTER 12Z AT BEST...I`M A LITTLE WARY OF THE COLDER GUIDANCE TEMPS FOR TONIGHT...SO WILL SPLIT BETWEEN THE WARMER MET GUIDANCE AND THE COOLER MAV. WEDNESDAY IS GOING TO FEEL EARLY SPRING LIKE WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES ONLY IN THE LOW TO MID 70S IN SOME PLACES. THERE IS SOME DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GUIDANCE AS TO WHETHER THE STRONG MAY SUN CAN OVERCOME THE STRONG COLD ADVECTION. WILL OPT FOR A WEIGHTED BLEND FAVORING THE COOLER GUIDANCE HERE AS THE INCOMING AIRMASS IS QUITE COLD...EVEN FOR EARLY MAY. WEDNESDAY NIGHT DOES POSE SOME CONCERN WITH THE TEMPERATURE FORECAST. THE GUIDANCE HAS BEEN CONSISTENT FROM THE MAV IN BEING IN THE LOWER 40S IN THE COLDEST SPOTS BY SUNRISE. SOME OF OUR BIAS-CORRECTED GUIDANCE IS EVEN SHOOTING FOR THE MID TO UPPER 30S OVER TOWARD CRESTVIEW UP TO GENEVA. THIS JUST SEEMS A LITTLE TOO COLD GIVEN THE RIDGE POSITION THURSDAY MORNING ACROSS MIDDLE TENNESSEE. WILL CONTINUE THE TREND OF UNDERCUTTING THE WARMER MET GUIDANCE...BUT WILL KEEP THE FORECAST NUMBERS A DEGREE OR TWO ABOVE THE COLDER MAV GUIDANCE. IN ANY EVENT...THURSDAY MORNING WILL FEEL QUITE CHILLY.