UPDATE: NWS damage surveys provide additional information about Monday night’s tornadoes in Alabama, Tennessee

The Weather Authority
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A large complex of severe storms moved across Mississippi,  North Alabama and Tennessee Monday night into Tuesday morning producing numerous tornadoes in and near the WHNT News 19 viewing area.

Post-Storm Analysis

Lauderdale County: One of the first tornado warnings of the evening was in Lauderdale County.

Radar image over Lauderdale County near 11:30PM November 5th, 2018

The storm rolled through quickly, and it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that reports of damage began to come in. Most reports of wind damage came from the Cloverdale Community, north of Florence.

The National Weather Service has confirmed EF-1 tornado damage. Read the survey here: NWS Huntsville Public Information Statement

Franklin County, Tennessee: The storm surveyed in Franklin County caused significant damage to the Estill Springs community around 1:30AM Tuesday. Reports of trees down and housing damage came in quickly behind this storm.

The storm near Estill Springs showed one of the strongest shear rates we saw Monday night. Shear rate is a measure of the change in wind direction and speed as you move from the ground up to a storm, essentially showing us the potential for rotation.

Preliminary reports for this storm from the National Weather Service confirm an EF-2 tornado, which produced winds up to 130 mph. Read the survey here: NWS Huntsville Public Information Statement

Jackson County: The storm surveyed in Jackson County began showing signs of rotation back in southern Madison County around 2AM, but the rotation became much clearer as it crossed over into Jackson County around 2:30AM. Damage to outbuildings and barns were reported southwest of Scottsboro from this storm, which tracked just north of HWY 72 from Aspel toward Scottsboro.  Wind speeds topped out around 105 miles per hour over a path just less than four miles long.

Meteorologist Christina Edwards was in Aspel the morning after the tornado, and she gathered numerous imagery of the storm damage via her twitter feed.

A tornado was confirmed via radar imagery, which showed correlating signs of rotation across various radar products. Shear rate and velocity products showed strong signs of rotation, and another radar product called correlation coefficient showed signs of debris being picked up by the storm. The correlation coefficient essentially measures the shape and size of objects being detected by radar, which can indicate if debris is present. The spot of higher correlation coefficient values correlating with rotation is sometimes called a Tornado Debris Signature, which was present in this storm from Aspel to Scottsboro.

Preliminary reports right now show damage consistent with an EF-1 Tornado in Jackson County. Read the survey here: NWS Huntsville Public Information Statement

Franklin/Colbert: The National Weather Service in Huntsville completed the survey with Colbert and Franklin County EMA and determined that an EF-0 with roughly 76 MPH winds briefly touched down near Ligon Springs.

Read the full survey here: NWS Huntsville Public Information Statement.


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