2011-04-27 MISC: AL,TN,MS,KY,OH,IN,WV,GA

I just cannot believe that any article using the SPC preliminary log numbers as the actual "number of tornadoes" is being hosted on any NOAA site.
I was thinking the same thing. I'd go as far as calling it ridiculous.

It looks like we're currently at two EF5 tornadoes, but I find it tough to compare damage assessments of today with those from 1974.
Ditto. To me, it seems they were much more liberal with ratings back then. Perhaps they didn't look as closely to the construction / engineering side of things.

Just looking at local climatology, SE MI averaged a violent tornado once every decade between 1950 and 1980. We haven't seen an >= EF4 since then.
 

jmarc Pourcelet

SvP, pouvez-vous me dire si une tornade est passée sur la ville d'Aiken en Caroline du Sud car un ami en France a de la famille et n'arrive pas à la contacter ni par téléphone ni par internet. Merci d'avance.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Bismarck, ND
I believe in the latest public information statements, the Smithfield, MS EF5 track has been connected to the Alabama EF5 track... so it appears we are back down to one confirmed EF5.

***Edit - I apologize as it appears that I read the statement wrong. Disregard.
 
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SvP, pouvez-vous me dire si une tornade est passée sur la ville d'Aiken en Caroline du Sud car un ami en France a de la famille et n'arrive pas à la contacter ni par téléphone ni par internet. Merci d'avance.
En regardant les rapports, je ne vois que les dégâts du vent sans tornade. Voici le rapport. Désolé, je suis l'aide de Google Translate si mon français n'est pas parfait.

Edit: Aucune tornade. Juste dégâts par le vent.

Code:
1043	UNK	 AIKEN	AIKEN	SC	3354	 8173	 AIKEN COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTED TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY. (CAE)
 

Chris Outler

The Smithville,MS tornado touched down at 344pm based on the statement by the NWS, while the Hackelburg tornado in Alabama touched down at 305pm. So they would have to be two seperate EF-5 tornadoes. The Smithville, MS tornado is also listed on SPC tornado reports as happening after the Hackelburg, AL storm, so we should still have two confirmed EF-5s.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
SvP, pouvez-vous me dire si une tornade est passée sur la ville d'Aiken en Caroline du Sud car un ami en France a de la famille et n'arrive pas à la contacter ni par téléphone ni par internet. Merci d'avance.
Which translated into English reads as follows:please, can you tell if a tornado passed over the city of Aiken, South Carolina because a friend in France has family and can not contact her either by telephone or Internet. Thank you in advance.
J'ai revérifié et ne peut pas vérifier tout rapport tornade telle soit. Très peu ici peuvent lire le français, il est donc conseillé que vous écrivez en anglais ou utiliser un service de traduction basé sur le Web pour être en mesure d'interagir avec les membres du forum sur une base régulière.

For our English readers:

I double checked and can't verify any such tornado report either. Very few here can read French, so it is advised that you write in English or use a web based translation service to be able to interact with the forum members on a regular basis.
 
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Mar 26, 2009
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Bismarck, ND
The Smithville,MS tornado touched down at 344pm based on the statement by the NWS, while the Hackelburg tornado in Alabama touched down at 305pm. So they would have to be two seperate EF-5 tornadoes. The Smithville, MS tornado is also listed on SPC tornado reports as happening after the Hackelburg, AL storm, so we should still have two confirmed EF-5s.
Yes, I retracted the statement. I had misread the public information statement from Memphis about the Smithville tornado entering Alabama. I had first thought it went on to be the same one as the Hackelburg tornado but the track of the Smithville tornado was just continued until Shottsville, AL.
 
May 31, 2004
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Peotone, IL
illinoisstormchasers.com
I believe in the latest public information statements, the Smithfield, MS EF5 track has been connected to the Alabama EF5 track... so it appears we are back down to one confirmed EF5.

***Edit - I apologize as it appears that I read the statement wrong. Disregard.
I don't know about that....

The AL track...

EVENT START LOCATION AND TIME: 34.0880/-88.1328 AT 305 PM
EVENT END LOCATION AND TIME: 34.3109/-87.7858 AT 328 PM

the MS one.

* LOCATION/TIME OF EVENT: SMITHVILLE AT 344 PM EDT ON APRIL 27

2011

Assuming all these times are Eastern. I guess the times could be off too. ?

Sorry didn't see your edit.
 

Chris Outler

I don't know about that....

The AL track...

EVENT START LOCATION AND TIME: 34.0880/-88.1328 AT 305 PM
EVENT END LOCATION AND TIME: 34.3109/-87.7858 AT 328 PM

the MS one.

* LOCATION/TIME OF EVENT: SMITHVILLE AT 344 PM EDT ON APRIL 27

2011

Assuming all these times are Eastern. I guess the times could be off too. ?

Sorry didn't see your edit.
I'm still not sure why Memphis posted the time zone as Eastern. Isn't all of MS in central time?
 

Mike Smith

As probably the only active poster who was working the April 3rd event, I can state with absolute certainty that there were similar conversations doing on in the meteorological community five days later except there wasn't blogs to facilitate.

Fujita's team (that did the survey) didn't produce their results overnight.
 
May 8, 2005
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Visit site
NWS Birmingham said:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS HAVE SURVEYED THE MASSIVE DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS LONG TRACK VIOLENT TORNADO...BY GROUND AND AIR. THE START POINT IS BASED ON AERIAL SURVEY...WHILE THE END LOCATION WAS DETERMINED BY A GROUND CREW. DETAILED DAMAGE INSPECTION HAS REVEALED A MAXIMUM OF EF-4 DAMAGE FROM EAST OF HOLT...NEAR CONCORD...AND THE PLEASANT GROVE AREAS. CASUALTY INFORMATION IS BASED ON THE LATEST OFFICIAL RELEASES FROM THE ALABAMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY. THIS TORNADO WAS PRODUCED BY A SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORM THAT BEGAN IN NEWTON COUNTY MISSISSIPPI AT 254 PM CDT...FINALLY DISSIPATING IN MACON COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA AT APPROXIMATELY 1018 PM CDT. SO...THIS SUPERCELL EXISTED FOR ABOUT 7 HOURS AND 24 MINUTES...TRAVELING APPROXIMATELY 380 MILES PRODUCING SEVERAL STRONG TO VIOLENT TORNADOES ALONG THE WAY.
A supercell lasting over 7 hours is just incredible.
 

Richard Cox

Enthusiast
May 7, 2009
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0
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Tulsa, OK
I've looked all over for closer views of the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham tornado as it approached the Birmingham suburbs. I finally found this, which apparently was shot from an apartment complex in Fultondale, on the very edge of the circulation. I don't think I've seen the link in this thread yet. The most relevant footage begins around 2:00.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztV9RCZV890
 

Todd Webb

Human nature being what it is, ultimately the yardstick that this outbreak will be measured by will be the number of deaths. While those with an interest in the weather may use many different measurements for weather events, the public and media will certainly zero in on that one particular statistic.
 

E. Clark

EF0
Mar 18, 2010
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Currently - Tahoe area
A must hear post outbreak chat - that is a bit different from the normal post storm discussion- but just as critical: http://www.weatherbrains.com/audio/wb050211.mp3

To quote from the website: "James Spann, Bill Murray, Dr. Tim Coleman, and Kevin Selle are joined by John Oldshue, John Brown, and Mike Wilhelm to simply share their thoughts on the horrible April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak that has killed over 300 people across the Deep South and injured thousands more. No regular features this week; it is simply a chance for these men to talk a little and decompress. A different, but important WeatherBrains. We hope you have time to listen."

These are the main meteorologists/chasers/videographers who were in the midst of the Alabama outbreak area on April 27, 2011.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Bismarck, ND
Just an update on the supposed chasers killed in Tuscaloosa. Turns out they are not dead, just severely injured and it sounds like speeding was the cause of their accident as the tornado went over their car after they were already flipped. It also seems as if there are no definitive conclusions on whether they were chasers:

From my EMA friend who found the car on the scene:
"There were some severe injury's and loss of consciousness of the whole group, they were flipped and trapped and badly injured but no one was killed.

We found them and performed an extraction, speed probably caused them to crash and the tornado covered them with heavy debris. I don't have any other details. we just treat them.

I have no idea how they're doing or even if they're still alive. They might not have even been a storm chase team, just some kids doing a movie but common sense leads me to conclusions."
 

Glen Turner

I'm not a tornado chaser/expert, just a dude that used to live in Tuscaloosa, but I wonder what you guys think of this particular damage.

Here is the block I grew up on:



Those are mostly brick houses. The right-hand road running up/down (east/west) is 5th St. N.E. Our house is the 5th obliterated lot from the top on the right.

You can see it a little better at the 5:50-6:00 mark of this video:

Watch video >

You get the best shot of our house at about 5:55 on the video. You can see there is mostly bare earth showing, even though this was a low, solidly-built brick house.

If you go to 4215 5th St. N.E. Tuscaloosa Alabama on Google Earth you will see what this neighborhood looked like previously and you will also see a photo of our house from back when it existed. You can rotate the image to get the same angle as the video.

How does this compare with some of the other Tuscaloosa damage, and where might it stand on the EF scale? Thanks in advance for any info.
 
Apr 22, 2010
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Richmond, VA
I'm really sorry Glen. I hope if you still have relatives and friends in the area that they are safe.
It would be great to get a hi-res photo, but the upper right of the picture appears (if the houses are solidly build) to be EF-4 damage. The house on the corner of your road and the one directly across from it look like good examples.
Interestingly, it appears the tornado narrowed around this area.
 

Glen Turner

Thanks, Timothy. I should've mentioned that we sold the house 5 years ago after my parents died and I had no family there. So I'm not really here seeking sympathy, although yours is appreciated; I'm just curious and thought I could bring a little info to the board with the images coupled to a street address.

I have not heard of anyone dying on that street, although it's hard to imagine that no one did. Nobody would've left those homes to go to a tornado shelter, I can promise you that.

That area is still closed to the public. The flyover shot is all I've seen.

In the Google Earth image, if you zoom out, you can see that somebody had a boatyard behind our house where he built or sold boats (I don't know). In the damage video, it doesn't look as if any of the boats blew more than 100 yards or so. Most of them are piled up near a fence/tree line which makes it seem that they stayed close to the ground. Also, I get the impression that the automobiles got turned into the direction the wind was going and then got dragged a few yards and that was about it.

But our house was brick and it wasn't taken down, it was blown away. There's nothing left but what appears to be the tile shower stall. That's pretty impressive.
 

Glen Turner

Thanks, Jennifer. Even though I live in California now and none of my family and friends were killed, injured, or displaced, I'm a proud Tuscaloosan. This thing has shaken me up and I'm still sleeping very poorly with the images of that big beast tearing through town. I'm usually pretty sturdy psychologically, and nothing really terrible happened to me personally, so I'll bet this kind of feeling is widespread in Tuscaloosa. Those folks are going to need psychological help as much as anything.

People are gonna be freaking out when the next tornado warning comes up, and this time of year they're not rare.
 
May 2, 2010
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Springfield, IL
Glen, I am so sorry to hear about your old house and neighborhood.

I second what Jennifer said, because my hometown got hit by a tornado (F-3) a few years ago; and I will always remember the shock I felt when I arrived in town the next morning and saw the wreckage.

I still feel it, just a little, on the (now rare) occasions when I drive into that town from the same direction. I suppose the sense of loss never completely goes away -- especially if you lose people you know (two friends of my family died in that tornado).

Perhaps something that could help the people of Tuscaloosa would be simply to receive encouragement, support and advice from other people who have survived violent tornadoes... people who have been through the whole process of rebuilding their homes and communities, dealing with their losses and dealing with their fears whenever severe weather threatens again.
 
Jan 17, 2010
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Ringgold, GA
People are gonna be freaking out when the next tornado warning comes up, and this time of year they're not rare.
Oh you better believe it! We had some gusty wind and a little thunder today and my phone was blowing up! People are very nervous about storms here in town after what happened last week! I think this is going to last for a long time.