During the late fall months, the Tennessee Valley experiences its second severe weather season. Potent and complex storm systems tracking through the region combined with a convective environment leads to the threat of strong to severe storms forming. This is exactly what happened in October of 2010.

During the late night hours of October 24th into the early morning hours of the 25th, a complex storm system moved through the region. As Two rounds of strong to severe storms led to damaging winds, large hail, and four tornadoes to touch down in northern Alabama. The strongest line moved through the area after three in the morning, while residents were still asleep.

It was within that second line that the strongest tornado touched down in north Alabama. The EF2 tornado touched down along Highway 41 in Jackson County, in this area multiple trees were uprooted or snapped. The tornado produced the most damage after crossing over into DeKalb County, near the intersection of County Road 134 and 131. Bleachers and the scoreboard were destroyed at Ider High School. After being on the ground for nearly 30 minutes, the tornado lifted near the state line.

While storms the day prior were linear in formation, the storms that developed during the afternoon and evening of the 26th were scattered in coverage. The severe storms had supercell characteristics with consistent mid and low-level rotation. Thunderstorm development began around the noon hour and continued through the early evening. A total of four tornadoes touched down ranging from EF0 to EF1 strength.

The strongest of the four tornadoes that day was an EF1 in DeKalb County. The tornado touched down near the intersection of County Road 389 and 391 around six in the evening. This EF1 tornado had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was on the ground for nearly 4.5 miles. Homes sustained structural damage and trees along the path were snapped or uprooted.

Summary Of The Two Day Event

The above shows you the number of storm reports from the two-day period along with the tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service in Huntsville. Nearly 50 tornado warnings were issued between late in the evening on the 24th through the early evening of the 26th. Thankfully, there were no fatalities associated with the tornadoes that formed but lightning strikes did lead to injuries and a couple of fatalities.

Along with the eight tornadoes that formed, there were 21 wind reports and 12 hail reports. Some of the largest hail stones were as large as a quarter to a golf ball size.

Alabama Tornadoes by month

It is important to remember that in Alabama, tornadoes can form at any time of the year. The highest chance for tornadic activity is during the Spring and Fall season. Being that it is Fall, we are in fact in the second severe weather season it is important to have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings!

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