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NWS Damage Assessors Use iPad App to Report Damage Instantly

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Swamped.

National Weather Service employees in Huntsville have been working very long hours.

They are busy assessing the damage from the tornado outbreak last week.

But those meteorologists have a secret weapon making the job of assessing storm damage easier.

David Nadler (WHNT)

David Nadler (WHNT)

NWS meteorologist David Nadler has been on the ground viewing the damage first-hand, and his iPad is never far from reach.

“We are using a software program called the Damage Assessment Tool Kit,” Nadler said. “Instead of use using paper, circling an intersection saying this is where trees were down, the program does that for you.”

Meteorologist can now use the app to report back what they are seeing in real-time to their office. The information can include notes and pictures taken on the scene.

There were a total of nine tornadoes that touched down in the Huntsville weather office forecast area in north Alabama and southern Tennessee. tornado

This week, the NWS reported the Fort Payne tornado was an EF-2 with peak winds of 115 mph. The Jackson County tornado — which touched down near Higdon and the DeKalb County community of Shiloh — was rated an EF-1 with peak winds of 100 mph.

A breakdown of the tornadoes: (read the full details of NWS surveys here)

EF SCALE: (The enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories)

EF0…WEAK……65 TO 85 MPH

EF1…WEAK……86 TO 110 MPH

EF2…STRONG….111 TO 135 MPH

EF3…STRONG….136 TO 165 MPH

EF4…VIOLENT…166 TO 200 MPH

EF5…VIOLENT…>200 MPH