The National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky released more information Wednesday about the long-track tornado that tore through the state. The National Weather Service offices are continuing with their storm surveys which is why all information remains preliminary right now.
When the NWS began their survey, damage associated with an EF-3 tornado was confirmed. After a few days of extensive surveying, the NWS found damage that corresponds with EF-4 strength. The estimated peak winds associated with this portion of the tornado are now 190 mph and the track remains 128 miles. It is important to note that winds for an EF-5 tornado are 200+ mph! This is still a preliminary report and it could be upgraded to an EF-5 if damage warrants it!
The number of confirmed tornadoes is still 39 from the December 10-11th tornado outbreak. The reason this number has not changed is due to the large number of surveys being completed by the NWS. A few notable tornadoes from this event were the Edwardsville, IL tornado, Mayfield, KY tornado and the Monette, AR tornado. The EF-3 tornado that produced destructive damage in Edwardsville lead to multiple fatalities when an Amazon warehouse was destroyed. The damage survey in Monette continues, but a nursing home took a direct hit, leading to multiple people being trapped and two fatalities. In Mayfield, KY, a candle factory took a direct hit and the building collapsed, trapping 110 employees beneath the rubble. This is a part of the long-track tornado, whose preliminary survey damage has been upgraded to EF-4 strength.
EF-0 Tornado in Giles County
On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Nashville completed a storm survey in Giles County for Saturday morning’s storms. They found damage near the Elkton area was produced by an EF-0 tornado. Tornadoes that produce EF-0 damage have winds between 65-85 mph. Peak winds with this specific tornado were 70 mph.
This is the only confirmed tornado here in the Tennessee Valley. This being said, the line of strong storms that moved through early Saturday morning did produce damaging winds, especially in northwestern portions of Alabama.
Multiple storm surveys are ongoing and it could be days before we find out the total of tornadoes and how strong they were. Stick with the Weather Authority as we will bring you the latest when it is released.