Remembering the Tornadoes of November 29th and 30th of 2016

The Weather Authority

Five years ago ten tornadoes left behind a path of destruction in the Tennessee Valley on November 29th and 30th, 2016. These storms struck during the evening and overnight hours, which made it dangerous for those in the path of these tornadoes. Above are some photos of the damage from the tornadoes. There were a total of three fatalities and thirteen injuries. The three deaths and majority of the injuries occurred with an EF-3 tornado that moved through Jackson and Dekalb counties, early in the morning hours on the 30th.

Strength of the tornadoes

Of the ten tornadoes that impacted the area, five had the strength of an EF-2 or EF-3 tornado. This means the winds with the strongest tornadoes were between 111-165 mph. These occurred in Cullman, Colbert, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, and Madison counties.

Path of the EF-3 Tornado in DeKalb and Jackson counties

Just after midnight on November 30th, residents in portions of DeKalb and Jackson counties were awoken by a severe storm that would produce a tornado. The tornado touched down just outside of Rosalie at 12:02 am CST and had a 13.7-mile continuous damage path. At 12:20 am CST the tornado lifted 10 miles north-northwest of Ider, right before the Alabama and Georgia state line.

This tornado claimed the lives of three individuals and injured ten others. Homes sustained significant damage and a barn was completely destroyed in Jackson County. Over in DeKalb County, an unanchored mobile home was completely destroyed and in the Deer Head Cove area, a well-anchored metal shed was destroyed.

Path of EF-3 Tornado in Morgan county

The EF-3 tornado that occurred in Morgan County touched down around 8:40 pm along Danville Road, just east of Isabel Mountain, and was on the ground for eight minutes. The tornado continued to strengthen as it moved towards the northeast, causing roof and structural damage to homes. In the Neel area, the roof of the volunteer fire department was almost completely taken off and large metal trusses were bent.

The tornado reached its maximum intensity as it crossed Boys Ranch Road, producing the most damage. A home in this area suffered complete roof loss and partial wall collapse, an anchored mobile home was destroyed, and a large motorcycle repair shop was almost wiped clean. The damage here was consistent with a lower-end EF-3 tornado with winds of 140 mph. Thankfully, in the 6.20-mile damage path, there were no fatalities or injuries.

Path of EF-2 Tornado in Colbert and Franklin counties

Just after 7 pm on the 29th, a tornado touched down near Lost Creek Road on the west side of the Cedar Creek Reservoir in Franklin County. When it touched down it caused a significant amount of roofing damage to a single-family home and an occupant of the home was injured. The tornado was the strongest in Franklin county with wind damage typical of an EF-2 tornado.

It quickly moved off towards the northeast, crossing into Colbert County, this is where two others were injured. These individuals were injured when a single-wide manufactured home sustained damage to the roof and walls. Along with the many homes that were damaged, many trees were snapped or uprooted. After producing an 11-mile damage path, it lifted at 7:23 pm seven miles south/southwest of Tuscumbia.

Path of EF-2 Tornado in Jackson and Madison counties

The final tornado we will touch on from this outbreak was an EF-2 tornado that traveled nearly 20 miles through Madison and Jackson counties. At 9:30 pm, this tornado touched down just outside of Monte Sano State Park snapping and uprooting trees along the northern brow of the mountain. More significant damage occurred near the Central Estates neighbored where at least 15 houses had some roof decking removed, some of these homes had large sections of the roof damaged.

The peak of intensity occurred near The Flint Ridge horse farm where damage was consistent with EF-2 strength, peak winds of 125 mph. Nearly all of the tin roof was removed from one large and one small horse and a riding arena was completely destroyed. After being on the ground for almost thirty minutes, the tornado lifted 3-miles north of the Princeton area. Thankfully, there were no fatalities or injuries.

November here in the Tennessee Valley is known as the secondary severe weather season. You can read more on this here.

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