Deadly tornado hit Riegelwood,NC

I think they're sending the survey team out this morning. From that CNN vid, I'd go weak F-2 (at the most) based on that one well built (exterior brick) house...roof gone, interior and exterior walls still standing.
What a tragedy for that community...I would imagine there was literally no warning unless you had NWR or possibly up watching TV. As a rule, that part of the country is rural, few spotters, and no sirens.
 
NWS ILM said:
[FONT=lucida sans typewriter, lucida console, courier]A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY TEAM WENT TO EASTERN
COLUMBUS COUNTY NEAR RIEGELWOOD TO SURVEY TORNADO DAMAGE. THE STORM
SURVEY TEAM DID DETERMINE THAT A STRONG TORNADO AFFECTED THE AREA
BUT HAD NOT YET DETERMINED THE INTENSITY. THE STORM SURVEY TEAM WILL
RETURN TO THE SCENE AGAIN ON FRIDAY TO INVESTIGATE FURTHER AND REACH
AN INTENSITY DETERMINATION. ANOTHER STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WILMINGTON LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON. [/FONT]
[FONT=lucida sans typewriter, lucida console, courier]

[/FONT]ILM Preliminary PNS

Another example of the utility of NWR. Maybe between Evansville last year, and Riegelwood this year, more folks will get an AHR. I'm not holding my breath, however.
 
I think they're sending the survey team out this morning. From that CNN vid, I'd go weak F-2 (at the most) based on that one well built (exterior brick) house...roof gone, interior and exterior walls still standing.
What a tragedy for that community...I would imagine there was literally no warning unless you had NWR or possibly up watching TV. As a rule, that part of the country is rural, few spotters, and no sirens.

Mmmm Angie I agree that the major path of the tornado could be of F2 intensity but I saw some well constructed house nearly completely leveled that could enahnce the rating of this monster to F3. However we'll see which will be the rating of the experts team.
 
Was this storm produced from the line of thunderstorms or did a cell form out in front of the line?

Looks like a pretty significant tornado, I would guess F-3 but wouldn't be shocked if it was an F-4.
 
I saw the storm on radar as it was happening, it was a small but intense isolated supercell far separated from any line. Tornado warned across multiple counties at a time for its entire lifespan with very strong circulation signature on radar. I might pull some grabs down from the NCDC archives tonight if I have time.

The extensive debris field in the photos appears to be deceptive as far as the tornado strength is concerned. The damaged structures looked like they were mosty light, fragile and easily obliterated (mostly trailers). Many of the cars still had most of their windows intact even though some were rolled over. Little or no ground scouring or mud caking. Aside from the damage to the one brick facade house, I think this will probably fall in the high end F2 range.

The casualties were surely a result of no warning reception via siren or NWR, the weak structures, the time of year and the time of day of the event. Few people think tornadoes can happen then and much less in North Carolina. A sad story as there was plenty of warning (SPC tornado risk outlined in advance, tornado watch in effect and tornado warning), but nothing in place there for the people to receive it.
 
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Mmmm Angie I agree that the major path of the tornado could be of F2 intensity but I saw some well constructed house nearly completely leveled that could enahnce the rating of this monster to F3. However we'll see which will be the rating of the experts team.
Andrea, links to the other damage pics or video, please? I was going solely on the CNN vid. Thanks!!!
Dan is very right...don't be deceived by the damage to the mobile homes...while it makes for more interesting vid as far as the media is concerned (showing "total devestation" as it were), even with F0 vs mobile home, the tornado wins the battle easily.
 
I saw the storm on radar as it was happening, it was a small but intense isolated supercell far separated from any line. Tornado warned across multiple counties at a time for its entire lifespan with very strong circulation signature on radar. I might pull some grabs down from the NCDC archives tonight if I have time.

The extensive debris field in the photos appears to be deceptive as far as the tornado strength is concerned. The damaged structures looked like they were mosty light, fragile and easily obliterated (mostly trailers). Many of the cars still had most of their windows intact even though some were rolled over. Little or no ground scouring or mud caking. Aside from the damage to the one brick facade house, I think this will probably fall in the high end F2 range.

The casualties were surely a result of no warning reception via siren or NWR, the weak structures, the time of year and the time of day of the event. Few people think tornadoes can happen then and much less in North Carolina. A sad story as there was plenty of warning (SPC tornado risk outlined in advance, tornado watch in effect and tornado warning), but nothing in place there for the people to receive it.

Thanks Dan, the way the articles were written up it sounded like an embedded cell but the damage looked like it came from an isolated cell. After watching that video again I think your right. I would guess F-3 but wouldn't be surprised if it was rated a F-2. F-4 is just about out of the question.

I was watching this system since Tuesday night but had quit paying attention once it really looked like a straight line event. If you pull those radar grabs please post them because I would like to see them and I am not sure how to get them myself.
 
A national Quick Response Team (QRT), led by Don Burgess (CIMMS) was sent out to survey this event, and it is on-going today (Fri 11/17). As of 10am this morning, he had only visited the mobile home/manufactured home area of Holly Tree Rd. Should get a preliminary report from him sometime later today. We are supporting their verification efforts with our experimental WDSSII Rotation Tracks products, and he plans to survey the entire track (not just Riegelwood). Those with Google Earth or some other KML viewer:

http://wdssii.nssl.noaa.gov/geotiff_examples/20061116/RotationTrack180min.kml

.
 
Storm was a very nice supercell---isolated and flying north. Lead time for the area with the fatalities looks to be 7-12 minutes. The experimental rotation tracks product showed decent rotation with the storm (though the best rotation was about 1.5 to 2 km up; lots of purple haze when the storm was near KLTX) through it's entire life (which is from the Atlatic Ocean to the northeast corner of Wayne County, NC. Below I have included the rotation tracks (yellows/reds are higher values of rotation) from KMHX and KRAX...the Google Earth link that Greg supplied earlier are tracks from KLTX (closest radar at tornado time). I've also included the low level reflectivity and velocity (storm motion estimate: 015 @ ~40 kts); these snapshots are from 70 sec before tornado warning issuance. Also included are more velocity images from the same volume scan (up to ~1.5 km AGL; tilt and time stamp in lower right corner).

Reflectivity just prior to TOR issuance:
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/priorwarn.png
Velocity
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/priorwarn-vel.png
Velocity up to ~1.5 km AGL:
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/tilt2vel.png
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/tilt3vel.png
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/tilt4vel.png
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/tilt5vel.png
Rotation Tracks--KMHX (shows good rotation with storm from area of tornado through Wayne County):
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/mhxtracks.png
Rotation Tracks--KRAX (best for the Duplin-Wayne County portion):
http://weather.ou.edu/~kortega/RAXtracks.png

(images and rotation tracks from WDSS-II)
 
1132ref.jpg


Here is the level II data from the NCDC archives, extracted with their Java viewer. This storm was very close to the LTX WSR-88D site when it produced the tornado. The town of Riegelwood is not plotted on these images, but is located halfway between the towns of Bolton and Northwest. The storm passes over the Riegelwood vicinity between the 1132z and 1137z frames.

Thumbnails:
thumbs.jpg


Full-size images:

Reflectivity:
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1059ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1107ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1111ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1115ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1120ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1128ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1132ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1137ref.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1141ref.jpg

Velocity:
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1107vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1111vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1115vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1120vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1128vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1132vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1137vel.jpg
http://wvlightning.com/2006/nov16/1141vel.jpg
 
Yeah appeared to be a strong F3 or weak F4 from the damage. Another Killer F3 - seems like the F3 is the new number one killer.


Here is the info

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC

530 PM EST FRI NOV 17 2006



...F3 TORNADO DAMAGE CONFIRMED AT RIEGELWOOD NC...



TODAY A NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY TEAM ASSESSED THE

TORNADO DAMAGE AT RIEGELWOOD...IN COLUMBUS COUNTY NC. THE DAMAGE WAS

RATED AT F3 ON THE FUJITA SCALE FOR NEARLY A MILE IN RIEGELWOOD...

WITH WINDS APPROACHING 200 MPH. THE MAXIMUM WIDTH OF THE TORNADO WAS

300 YARDS WHERE F3 DAMAGE OCCURRED. THE REST OF THE 7 MILE DAMAGE

PATH WAS NARROW...LESS THAN 100 YARDS WIDE...AND RATED AT F1...WITH

WINDS LESS THAN 100 MPH EXTENDING NORTH ACROSS COLUMBUS COUNTY INTO

WESTERN PENDER COUNTY.



THE TORNADO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 8 FATALITIES AND 20 INJURIES THAT

REQUIRED MEDICAL TREATMENT. THE COLUMBUS COUNTY SHERIFF REPORTED 30

HOMES DESTROYED IN THE F3 DAMAGE AREA...AND ANOTHER 3 STRUCTURES

WERE DAMAGED IN PENDER COUNTY JUST WEST OF CURRIE.



THE TORNADO WAS SPAWNED FROM A LINE OF POWERFUL THUNDERSTORMS

ASSOCIATED WITH A STRONG COLD FRONT THAT MOVED THROUGH THE CAROLINAS

EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.



A TORNADO WARNING HAD BEEN ISSUED FOR EASTERN COLUMBUS COUNTY AT 629

AM...AND PRIOR TO THAT A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING WAS ISSUED FOR

THE SAME AREA AT 621 AM. NOAA WEATHER RADIOS IN THE AREA

AUTOMATICALLY ALARMED FOR BOTH WARNINGS TO ALERT PEOPLE.



THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO SERIOUSLY

CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY...AS WELL AS YOUR FAMILY...AND

PURCHASE A WEATHER RADIO FOR THE HOME OR BUSINESS. WHEN A WARNING IS

ISSUED THE RADIO WILL AUTOMATICALLY ALARM...GIVING YOU PRECIOUS TIME

TO PREPARE FOR A DANGEROUS SITUATION.



NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS IS THE ONLY GOVERNMENT RADIO SYSTEM

THERE IS...AND IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY ALARM TO ALERT YOU TO A WIDE

RANGE OF HAZARDS...OTHER THAN WEATHER.



FOR MORE INFORMATION ON NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS...PLEASE GO

TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEBSITE: http://HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV



$$



MAC/TM
11.16.06_tor.png
 
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NWS PNS said:
[FONT=lucida sans typewriter, lucida console, courier]..F3 TORNADO DAMAGE CONFIRMED AT RIEGELWOOD NC

TODAY A NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY TEAM ASSESSED THE
TORNADO DAMAGE AT RIEGELWOOD...IN COLUMBUS COUNTY NC. THE DAMAGE WAS
RATED AT F3 ON THE FUJITA SCALE FOR NEARLY A MILE IN RIEGELWOOD...
WITH WINDS APPROACHING 200 MPH. THE MAXIMUM WIDTH OF THE TORNADO WAS
300 YARDS WHERE F3 DAMAGE OCCURRED. THE REST OF THE 7 MILE DAMAGE
PATH WAS NARROW...LESS THAN 100 YARDS WIDE...AND RATED AT F1...WITH
WINDS LESS THAN 100 MPH EXTENDING NORTH ACROSS COLUMBUS COUNTY INTO
WESTERN PENDER COUNTY. ... [/FONT]
[FONT=lucida sans typewriter, lucida console, courier]
--> ILM NWSFO Damage Assessment

There were also 2 F3 tornadoes in the JAN NWSFO CWA... See HERE for their damage assessment.
[/FONT]
 
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Some very intense low level winds as sampled by 12z soundings. CHS sounding shows a 12kt wind going to 66kts at 869mb. MHX is similar going from 8kts to 48kts at 850mb. Riegelwood was likely in at least 50-55kts @ 850mb. Another interesting note about the CHS sounding is that the 900-850mb wind speeds are the highest until you get at and above 500mb. Both soundings showed well above 300 m2/s2 0-1km SRH and nearly non-existant CINH. LCL's were a good 300-400m lower then forecasted and 0-3km CAPE and MLCAPE both look decent given the shear.

The radar scans showed seem to show a pretty good indication prior to the tornado, though the storm moving nearly right over the radar wasn't helpful.
 
Sure it was a very nice hook. Making the animation it seems that the supercell was one of those that originates from static convergence and that often in similar situations tends to produce tornadoes.



1132ref.jpg
 
The two F3's in Ms was only about 50 miles south of me but that area is very rural with a bad road network, tall trees and the storms were not exactly isolated so I didn't bother.

The radar grabs certainly indicated a tornado, the storm crossing over the radar didn't help matter but it sure made for some nice grabs after it moved a few miles away. Thanks for posting those.
 
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