PLEASANT SITE, Ala. - Teams with the National Weather Service in Huntsville have completed two planned storm damage surveys following powerful spring storms on Saturday.
A team surveying damage in Franklin County near Pleasant Site has found damage consistent with an EF-0 tornado. A 95-mile-per-hour microburst was determined to be the cause of damage near Phil Campbell and Spruce Pine.
Public Information Statement National Weather Service Huntsville AL 652 PM CDT Sun Apr 23 2017 ...NWS Damage Survey For 04/22/2017 Tornado/Wind Event...Update 1....Overview...NWS and EMA survey teams found evidence of an EF-1 tornado near Jones Chapel and straight line wind damage near Battleground (Cullman County); and an EF-0 tornado in the far western side of Franklin County, Alabama, about 5.5 miles north of Red Bay, and a microburst near Phil Campbell. .Western Franklin County Tornado... Rating: EF-0 Estimated Peak Wind: 75 MPH Path length /Statute/: 5.6 Miles Path width /Maximum/: 720 Yards Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Start date: 04/22/2017 Start time: 331 PM CDT Start location: 5.5 N Red Bay Start Lat/Lon: 34.5184/-88.1365 End date: 04/22/2017 End time: 342 PM CDT End location: 3.5 NNW Burntout End_lat/lon: 34.5024/-88.0410 The tornado appeared to develop just east of the Alabama/Mississippi state line in Franklin County, AL. Heavy tree damage was noted at the start point which was consistent with a tornado debris signature and velocity couplet on KGWX radar, which was about 5.5 miles north of Red Bay, AL. The debris signature tracked east over heavily forested area that was not accessible by vehicle. Additional heavy tree damage was located near the end point which was consistent with the last debris signature seen on KGWX radar. Satellite data has been requested and will be used to analyze the remainder of this track but confidence is high enough in the velocity signature, the tornado debris signature and the damage to declare an EF-0 tornado. The majority of the tree damage consisted of small to medium sized trees snapped, branches twisted with one or two trees uprooted. Additional damage data was taken over the Mississippi state line in Tishomingo County and after analysis by forecasters at NWS Memphis, additional information may be added to this survey. .Phil Campbell Microburst... Estimated Peak Wind: 95 MPH Path length /Statute/: 0.58 miles Path width /Maximum/: 620 yards Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Start date: 04/22/2017 Start time: 408 PM CDT Start location: 3.6 WNW Phil Campbell Start Lat/Lon: 34.3639/-87.7709 End date: 04/22/2017 End time: 410 PM CDT End location: 3.35 NNW Phil Campbell End_lat/lon: 34.3681/-87.7612 Extensive tree damage was noted on the west side of Highway 43, about 3.6 miles west-northwest of Phil Campbell, AL. Along the east side of a creek running parallel to the highway, multiple trees were snapped along with multiple medium to large trees completely uprooted. This continued southward on Highway 43 for approximately 0.58 miles. All trees were noted to generally be laying towards the north-northeast. Tracking southwest from this location, an additional tree or two snapped or fallen were noted. Given the radar data and evidence of a microburst, the start location was the southwestern most location with the winds spreading northeast, ending on Highway 43 as little to no damage was seen on the east side of the highway.
The second team surveyed damage in northwestern Cullman County near Battleground and Jones Chapel. The National Weather Service says the damage in this area is consistent with an EF-1 tornado with 100-mile-per-hour winds.
Public Information Statement National Weather Service Huntsville AL 341 PM CDT Sun Apr 23 2017 ...NWS Damage Survey For 04/22/2017 Tornado and Wind Event... .Overview... NWS and Cullman County EMA survey team found evidence of an EF-1 tornado near Jones Chapel and straight line wind damage near Battleground. .Jones Chapel Tornado... Rating: EF-1 Estimated Peak Wind: 100 MPH Path length /Statute/: 4.39 Miles Path width /Maximum/: 200 Yards Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Start date: 04/22/2017 Start time: 540 PM Start location: 2.5 NW Jones Chapel Start Lat/Lon: 34.24 -87.08 End date: 04/22/2017 End time: 555 PM End location: 1.6 SE Jones Valley End_lat/lon: 34.18 -87.04 Survey Summary: NWS Huntsville and Cullman County EMA survey team determined a 200 yard swath of damage adjacent to widespread straightline wind damage was attributed to an EF-1 tornado. Max winds were estimated at 100 MPH. The tornado appeared to develop near the intersection of CR 1043 and CR 1047 where roof damage to a farm house was noted. The tornado continue near CR 1043 and uprooted several trees before heavily damaging a farm structure west of the CR 1043 and CR 1082 intersection. Sporatic tree limb damage was noted between CR 1082 and CR 1039 north of Jones Chapel. South of Jones Chapel, several chicken houses were severely damaged by the tornado before dissipating near the CR 991/992. Convergent damage from the uprooted trees north of Jones Chapel coincided with a tightening rotation velocity gradient from KHTX which led to the conclusion that a tornado touched town. 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 .Battleground Straight Line Wind Event... Peak wind Estimated: 105 MPH Path length /Statute/: 3.5 Miles Path width /Maximum/: 2400 Yards Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Start date: 04/22/2017 Start time: 540 PM Start location: 3.3 NW Jones Chapel End date: 04/22/2017 End time: 555 PM End location: 1 E Jones Valley Survey Summary: NWS Huntsville and Cullman County EMA survey team found a large swath of straightline wind damage in the Battleground area. Significant soft and hardwood tree damage was noted near CR 1082, CR 1055, and CR 1087 area. Damage appeared to track south of Jones Valley through CR 988. The wind swath was approx. 1.5 to 2 miles in width and max winds were estimated at 105 as 2 large barn structures were complete destroyed near CR 1087. Nearly all damage was oriented to the ESE, which was the general storm motion.
Emergency managers in Jackson County along with the National Weather Service are planning to survey storm damage in and around the Skyline community near Highway 79 on Monday.
Tornado warnings were issued for Cullman, Franklin and Jackson Counties during Saturday's storms and much of north Alabama was under a severe thunderstorm watch for several hours.
WHNT News 19 sent out breaking news push alerts out from the WHNT News 19 mobile app as crews completed their surveys Sunday. Download the app here and make sure you have breaking news and weather push notifications turned on to receive future alerts.