On April 11th, 2013 a strong cold front pushed through the region leading to severe weather for the Tennessee Valley! A line of showers and strong storms developed out ahead of the front and progressed through the region during the afternoon and evening hours. Thanks to the tight pressure gradient associated with this system, winds were very strong. As the storms slowly progressed eastward they intensified to severe thunderstorms.
Damaging straight-line winds were the primary threat from these storms as they moved over communities. The storm motion was slow leading to a flooding threat. The environment had plenty of moisture for these storms to tap into, leading to torrential rainfall for some. There were a total of two tornadoes that touched down during this severe weather event. Both occurred in Madison County and were associated with the same storm!
The first tornado touched down south of Huntsville, west of Grissom Highschool, and traveled northeast nearly 2 miles before lifting near Bailey Cove Road. This weak short-lived tornado was on the ground for three minutes, but in that short time frame produced damage to structures and trees. Trees were uprooted and snapped in the area the tornado touched down, the west side of the Memorial Parkway. Some businesses sustained roof and signage damage, this is where it is believed the tornado was the strongest. The peak winds were estimated to be about 90 mph, thankfully there were no reported fatalities or injuries.
The second EF-1 tornado touched down minutes after the first and was associated with the same area of rotation. This short-lived tornado touched down in the Dug Hill community and had about a mile-long damage path. Thankfully, the area the tornado moved through was a mainly wooded area. Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted. Before the tornado lifted, it ripped a roof off a barn, this was the only reported structural damage. The peak winds were estimated to be around 105 mph.
For more details head over to the National Weather Service in Huntsville page.