David, yes, I believe this was from a tower cam.Was the Dewhirst tornado photo from Jonesboro, AR?
The legendary James Spann and some of his fellow meteorologists at his station in Birmingham were interviewed after the 4/27/11 super outbreak on how that event affected their lives and what they would do going forward. He said that the fact that they live-streamed both the Cullman and Tuscaloosa EF-4s likely saved dozens of lives. He said previous events and especially that one has taught them that when you show them concrete images of a life-threatening tornado, it is significantly more likely people will act than if they only talk about a tornado warning.People have mentioned the coronavirus as a factor in keeping the death toll down because people were home instead of being out in the shopping areas that were badly hit. I think that is true, but I think the other factor was that the tornado was broadcast live on TV as it was moving into the city. People saw that and knew immediately that it was the real deal. When you look at some of the pictures showing how totally destroyed a number of homes were, it is remarkable that nobody died and that the number of injuries was fairly low. I do think that when it is possible to do so, broadcasting live images of an approaching tornado saves lives.
Tuscaloosa was my first thought as well. I had noticed some early damage photographs that suggested higher end Ef3 but then as more videos of the tornado surfaced, the motion looked like it could have been higher than that.Great video from a local TV station's tower cam live. Reminiscent of Tuscaloosa.
A couple of extremely close range videos of the base of the tornado have surfaced. I’d love to see a photogrammetric analysis of this tornado, because the motion certainly looked incredibly violent.Honestly somewhat surprised by the low-end EF3 rating. The vehicle damage was some of the most intense I have ever seen, plus some of those houses looked like they took winds over 140, even if they weren't anchored to the fullest extent.
On the bright side, the social distancing orders actually saved lots of lives with the freeway being mostly empty and the stores being closed.
Morning convection always seems to cause problems in an otherwise well structured severe set-up like this.