Tornado Outbreak of April 15th, 2011 


Event Summary for Central Alabama

As part of a system which wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the United States (April 14-16), the following is an account of the tornado outbreak of April 15th, 2011, in Central Alabama.

A surface low, which had developed across the Central Plains on Thursday, the 14th, deepened as it moved into the Mid-Mississippi Valley.  In response to this deepening, surface dew points in the middle to upper 60s surged northward into Central Alabama and deep vertical wind shear increased.  By the morning of Friday, the 15th, it was evident environmental conditions were going to be perfect for tornadic supercell development.  The Storm Prediction Center issued the first Tornado Watch for Central Alabama prior to 8 am and supercell development began just after 11 am across central Mississippi.  These storms crept across the Mississippi and dropped multiple damaging tornadoes.  The first tornado warning in Central Alabama was issued at 1152 am in Marengo County and warnings were issued until 1215 am the next morning.

 
Location/Clickable Detailed Summary Link
Damage Rating/Estimated Maximum Wind Speeds
Injuries/Fatalities
Damage Path Length/Width
Starting Point/Time
Ending Point/Time
EF-1
100 mph
(EF-1 in WFO MOB)
None
4.21 miles
60 yards
32.1125/-88.0500
1210 pm
32.1200/-87.9816   1221 pm
EF-3
140-150 mph
(EF-3 in WFO JAN)
None
10.5 miles
1760 yards
32.8442/-88.3569
145 pm
32.8917/-88.1835
205 pm
EF-2
115 mph
None
4.5 miles
200 yards
32.789/-88.241  303 pm
32.806/-88.165   310 pm
EF-3
140 mph
None
18.37 miles
500 yards
33.012/-87.734
314 pm
33.190/-87.504  345 pm
EF-2
115 mph
None
2.20 miles
700 yards
32.7285/-87.6276
333 pm
32.7566/-87.66097  337 pm
EF-2
115 mph
None
8.9 miles
200 yards
32.4359/-88.3288
353 pm
32.4839/-88.1868  407 pm
EF-1
105 mph
None
21.77 miles
1760 yards
32.9040/-87.3625
400 pm
33.1092/-87.0773  434 pm
EF-2
130 mph
None
24.1 miles
880 yards
32.6426/-87.8456
444 pm
32.8445/-87.5088   522 pm
EF-0
70 mph
None
1.37 miles
50 yards
33.2380/-86.8363
459 pm
33.2449/-86.8141  502 pm
EF-3
150 mph
4 Injuries/
1 Fatality
15.58 miles
800 yards
32.1901/-88.0056
504 pm
32.3431/-87.8159     528 pm
EF-2
130 mph
None
5.4 miles
575 yards
32.3089/-87.9304
519 pm
32.3710/-87.8742    530 pm
EF-2
125 mph
None
10.9 miles
600 yards
32.2884/-87.7380
535 pm
32.3862/-87.5921  553 pm
EF-1
85-90 mph
None
4.38 miles
100 yards
33.2477/-86.5256
544 pm
33.2680/-86.4537
549 pm
EF-0
85 mph
None
4.65 miles
150 yards
32.4055/-87.5098
600 pm
32.4296/-87.4354
605 pm
EF-2
115 mph
None
0.8 miles
500 yards
32.5666/-87.2943
625 pm
32.5761/-87.2863  627 pm
EF-2
135 mph
(EF-2 in WFO MOB)
None
21.08 miles
800 yards
32.0820/-88.0500
638 pm
32.2413/-87.7304   709 pm
EF-1
90 mph
None
0.1 miles
75 yards
32.6004/-87.0091
705 pm
32.6013/-87.0079
707 pm
EF-0
75 mph
None
2.73 miles
75 yards
32.2140/-86.4519
723 pm
32.2394/-86.4162
727 pm
EF-1
90 mph
None
0.18 miles
100 yards
32.4700/-87.2346 748 pm
32.4713/-87.2320
750 pm
EF-1
105 mph
None
1.64 miles
250 yards
32.3776/-87.1618
804 pm
32.3880/-87.1366
807 pm
EF-1
90 mph
None
7.88 miles
200 yards
32.5095/-86.6680
848 pm
32.6037/-86.5918
859 pm
EF-1
90 mph
None
13.42 miles
200 yards
32.5639/-86.6064
856 pm
32.7040/-86.4479
916 pm
EF-0
75 mph
None
4.4 miles
50 yards
32.6144/-86.5121
907 pm
32.6634/-86.4631
912 pm
EF-2
130 mph
None
13.17 miles
800 yards
32.3500/-86.8700 925 pm
32.5100/-86.7500
940 pm
EF-0
75 mph
None
0.35 miles
50 yards
32.7216/-86.3133
927 pm
32.7225/-86.3073  929 pm
EF-1
90 mph
None
3.01 miles
800 yards
32.3824/-86.8297
928 pm
32.4040/-86.7848
933 pm
EF-3
150 mph

4 Injuries/
3 Fatalities

9.29 miles
400 yards
32.5730/-86.5800
1047 pm
32.6110/-86.4272
1101 pm
EF-2
130 mph
2 Injuries
20.75 miles
1320 yards
32.6886/-86.2087
1117 pm
32.8742/-85.9100  1143 pm
EF-1
100 mph
None
6.64 miles
200 yards
32.8657/-85.8830
1143 pm
32.9278/-85.8019  1152 pm

Preliminary Local Storm Reports

During this event, tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Ilinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Here are some other NWS Offices storm survey pages, April 14-16.

 
Jackson, MS Mobile, AL Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
Raleigh, NC Blacksburg, VA Wilmington, NC
Columbia, SC Wakefield, VA State College, PA
Atlanta, GA Central Illinois  
Norman, OK
 


View April 15, 2011 Tornado Outbreak in a larger map

 

Central Alabama April 15th Statistics

 
-April 15th was one of the largest tornado outbreaks in Central Alabama history by the number of tornado occurrences.
-There were 29 confirmed tornadoes in Central Alabama on April 15th.
-The combined tornado damage path length in Central Alabama was 244.23 miles.
-Ten of the tornadoes had damage path lengths over 10 miles long.
-Three tornadoes started outside Central Alabama.
-There were at least 10 injuries reported and 4 people lost their lives
-Tornado Watch 140 was in effect from 733 am CDT until 3 pm CDT.
-Tornado Watch 141 was in effect from 1121 am CDT until 9 pm CDT.
-Tornado Watch 146 was in effect from 751 pm CDT until 3 am CDT.
-NWS BMX issued 45 Tornado Warnings.
-NWS BMX issued 19 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
 

Number of Tornadoes by EF-Scale

EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
5 10 10 4 0 0
 

Severe Weather Episode Data 

 

Surface analysis
Surface Analysis
Apr 15 1 pm
Surface Analysis 21z
Surface Analysis
Apr 15 4 pm 
Day 1 Outlook
Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook
Issued Apr 15 7 am
Storm Reports
Day 2 Severe Weather Outlook
Issued Apr 14 1 am
Day 1 Outlook
Day 3 Severe Weather Outlook
Issued Apr 13 3 am
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 14th
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 15th
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 16th
Raob
BMX Sounding 15/12z Courtesy of University of Wyoming
Raob
JAN Sounding 15/12z Courtesy of University of Wyoming
Radar
Afternoon Reflectivity Loop
Radar
Afternoon SRM Loop
Radar
Evening Reflectivity Loop
Radar
Evening SRM Loop
 

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