National Weather Service: Very little damage in Wednesday’s storms, not caused by tornado


Rain falling on leaves in the WHNT News 19 garden. (WHNT/Christina Edwards)

ATHENS, Ala. – The National Weather Service has released the results of Thursday’s storm survey in portions of Athens.

NWS meteorologists said very little damage was found during the survey, except a weakened oak tree that fell near Market Street.

Winds were estimated to be under 60 mph, and the Weather Service said a possible gustnado developed on the leading edge of Wednesday’s storms.

The Weather Service defines a gustnado as “a small, whirlwind which forms as an eddy in thunderstorm outflows. They do not connect with any cloud-base rotation and are not tornadoes.”

The official NWS definition states that gustnadoes can cause damage, but the damage is considered damage caused by thunderstorm winds.

You can read the full survey results below:

National Weather Service meteorologists, with the help of 
Limestone County EMA, surveyed portions of Athens, AL. Very 
little damage was observed in this area, except for a weakened 
oak tree that was downed near Market Street. Video evidence and 
eyewitness reports suggest that a possible gustnado developed 
on the leading edge of a thunderstorm cluster and moved through 
along Highway 31, north of Tanner. Very minor damage was 
observed in this area and winds were estimated to be below 60 
mph. Special thanks to the Limestone County EMA for their 
assistance with this survey. 

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