NWS: Two tornadoes touched down Saturday night in northwest Alabama

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The National Weather Service in Huntsville has determined that two tornadoes touched down in northwestern Alabama late Saturday, December 17. They also found tree and power pole damage conducive of 65 mph thunderstorm winds in Waterloo

Below are the official Public Information Statements from the National Weather Service regarding the tornadoes.

NOUS44 KHUN 192223

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Huntsville AL
423 PM CST Mon Dec 19 2016

...NWS Damage Survey for 12/17-18/16 Tornado Event...

.Vina Tornado (Franklin AL)...

Rating:                   EF-0
Estimated Peak Wind:      80 MPH
Path length /Statute/:    0.97 Miles
Path width /Maximum/:     75 Yards
Fatalities:               0
Injuries:                 0

Start date:               DEC 18 2016 
Start time:               1242 AM CST
Start location:           Hwy 9 just west of Maple Street 
Start Lat/Lon:            34.37510/-88.07190

End date:                 DEC 18 2016
End time:                 1246 AM CST
End location:             Near intersection of Maple St/Old Cotton Gin Rd
End_lat/lon:              34.37845/-88.05529

Survey Summary: The NWS in conjunction with Franklin Alabama EMA
conducted a ground survey of damage in Vina. The findings are
as follows.

An initially very weak and narrow tornado touched down in the 
Vina community along Highway 19 just west of Maple Street. Here 
some limbs were snapped off of a stand of trees on the south side of
the road. Additional very minor tree damage was noted south of 
Highway 19. A tree was uprooted near a home along Cedar street south
of Highway 19.

The tornado then likely crossed Highway 19 very near two community 
storm shelters and the local fire department. No discernible damage was
identifiable here, but it should be noted that the shelters were open
and occupied due to watches and warnings being in effect. Damage was once
again noted on the south and west side of the Vina High School. 

On the south side, a large tree was snapped and a home sustained roof 
damage. The athletic fields sustained damage to the fences and a baseball 
dugout was destroyed. Several large unanchored objects here were thrown 
large distances. 

The school sustained roof damage in several locations including uplift of 
the roof on the main building. Windows were also blown out here by the wind 
with other damage due to the flying debris. Awnings were also destroyed 
connecting different portions of the school. The tornado was rated EF-0 here
with maximum winds of 80 mph due to the damage to the roof in several different 
locations. The width was estimated to be around 75 yards.

The tornado lifted up and blew away shingles on another building here before 
lifting in the wooded area east northeast of the school.  

.Riverton Tornado (Colbert)

Rating:                   EF-0
Estimated Peak Wind:      85 MPH
Path length /Statute/:    0.62 Miles
Path width /Maximum/:     87 Yards
Fatalities:               0
Injuries:                 0

Start date:               Dec. 17 2016 
Start time:               1137 PM CST
Start location:           4 SSW Waterloo
Start Lat/Lon:            34.82 / -88.08

End date:                 Dec. 17 2016
End time:                 1138 PM CST
End location:             3 SSW Waterloo
End_lat/lon:              34.83 / -88.07 

Survey Summary:
A NWS and Colbert County survey team investigated significant tree damage
in the Riverton area. The damage was associated with a weak tornado  
embedded in a line of thunderstorms along a cold front.  The damage 
occurred at 537 UTC, as estimated on radar.

The survey team determined a tornado touched down at 537 UTC in the 
Riverton, AL area.  Numerous softwood trees were either uprooted or
snapped just east of Bear Creek along Riverton Rose Trail. Damage
was conducive to an EF-0 tornado with maximum winds speeds of 
85 MPH.  

The weak tornado produced a swath of damage approx. 0.62 miles long and 
87 yards wide.  Damage indicators in this region were sparse, other than
the tree damage along Riverton Rose Trail. The tornado was likely only briefly
on the ground (1 min or less) given the a storm motion nearly of 50 mph. 

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

.Waterloo Thunderstorm Wind Damage...

Peak wind E:              65 MPH
Path length /Statute/:    1.5 Miles
Path width /Maximum/:     950 Yards
Fatalities:               0
Injuries:                 0

Start date:               Dec. 17 2016 
Start time:               1145 PM CST
Start location:           10 NE Cherokee

End date:                 Dec. 17 2016
End time:                 1145 PM CST
End location:             10 NE Cherokee

Survey Summary: NWS and Lauderdale County EMA survey team found
tree damage and power pole damage conducive to thunderstorm
winds with estimated speed of 65 mph near CR 189 and CR 14.

The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the events and publication in NWS
Storm Data.


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