Event Summary for Central Alabama

As part of a system which wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the United States (April 25-28), the following is an account of the tornado outbreak of April 27th, 2011, in Central Alabama.

To tell this story, one has to recognize that there were two distinct waves of widespread severe weather for Central Alabama. The first moved through during the early morning hours across northern portions of Central Alabama in the form of a Quasi-Linear Covective System (QLCS).  This  intense line of thunderstorms produced not only widespread damaging straight line winds in the areas of Moody, Pell City and Riverside, but numerous strong tornadoes.  The table below is an account of the tornadoes caused by the QLCS:

***Please Note:  Since a server change early in 2013, icons associated with EF Ratings within interactive Google Maps for each tornado are currently not available, as well as survey photos that were included within specific survey points.  We apologize for the temporary inconvenience, as we continue to improve GIS data throughout the National Weather Service.

 
Location/Clickable Detailed Summary Link
Damage Rating/Estimated Maximum Wind Speeds
Injuries/Fatalities
Damage Path Length/Width
Starting Point/Time
Ending Point/Time
Dancy (Pickens County)
EF-1 in WFO BMX
100 mph
(EF-2 in WFO JAN, MS)
None
22.63 miles / 
1056 yards
32.9921/-88.3403
416 am
33.1275/-87.9844
435 am 
Northern Reform (Pickens County)
EF-2
120 mph
None
14.36 miles /
1232 yards
33.3007/-88.1496
427 am
33.4445/-87.9699
442 am 
Holman (Pickens and Tuscaloosa Counties)
EF-3
140 mph
None
22.46 miles / 
704 yards
33.2448/-87.8817
441 am
33.4268/-87.5605
502 am 
Berry (Fayette County)
EF-1
100 mph
4 Injuries
7.28 miles /
176 yards

33.6325/-87.6488
503 am

33.6943/-87.5462
511 am
Coaling (Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties)
EF-3
155 mph
None
20.26 miles /
200 yards
33.1630/-87.3716
517 am
33.2960/-87.0594
535 am
Parrish-Cordova (Walker County)
EF-3
140 mph
20 Injuries
18.90 miles /
375 yards
33.5979/-87.3278
518 am
33.8176/-87.1320
536 am
Altadena (Shelby and Jefferson Counties)
EF-1
100 mph
None
3.39 miles /
100 yards
33.3780/-86.7509
550 am
33.4255/-86.7362
554 am
Mountain Woods Lake (Jefferson and Blount Counties)
EF-2
135 mph
3 Injuries
3.23 miles /
200 yards
33.8300/-86.8012
553 am
33.8627/-86.7610
557 am
Cahaba Heights (Jefferson County)
EF-2
120 mph
20 Injuries
7.76 miles /
200 yards
33.4367/-86.7622
554 am
33.4980/-86.6493    600 am
Liberty (Blount County)
EF-1 in WFO BMX
105 mph
(EF-1 in WFO HUN)
None
10.68 miles /
200 yards
34.0894/-86.5342
612 am
34.2021/-86.4063
622 am
Odenville (St. Clair County)
EF-2
120 mph
5 Injuries
3.84 miles /
200 yards
33.6473/-86.4153
616 am
33.6848/-86.3661
619 am
 

The second wave,  which began with the Hackleburg EF-5 tornado, involved numerous supercell thunderstorms which produced deadly long-lived, strong to violent tornadoes across the northern two-thirds of Central Alabama. Widespread and catastrophic damage was sustained in several locations.  The table below is an account of the tornado activity from the afternoon hours on the 27th:

 
Location/Clickable Detailed Summary Link
Damage Rating/Estimated Maximum Wind Speeds
Injuries/Fatalities
Damage Path Length/Width
Starting Point/Time
Ending Point/Time
Hackleburg (Marion County)
EF-5 in WFO BMX
210 mph
(EF-5 in WFO HUN)
100 Injuries /
18 Fatalities
25.14 miles /
3/4 mile
34.1043/-88.1479
305 pm
34.3109/-87.7858
328 pm
Cordova (Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Walker and Blount Counties)
EF-4 in WFO BMX
170 mph
(EF-2 in WFO HUN)
54 Injuries /
13 Fatalities
116.45 miles / 
1408 yards 
33.2506/-88.1814
340 pm
34.2275/-86.4270
550 pm 
Panola (Sumter and Pickens Counties)
EF-3 in WFO BMX
140 mph
(EF-2 in WFO JAN, MS)
2 Injuries
16.24 miles /
1056 yards 
32.9149/-88.3495
357 pm
33.0604/-88.1299
415 pm
Shottsville (Marion County)
EF-3 in WFO BMX
160 mph
(EF-5 in WFO MEG, MS)
(EF-2 in WFO HUN)
100 Injuries /
7 Fatalities
18.48 miles /
3/4 mile
34.1677/-88.1932
400 pm
34.3128/-87.9215  420 pm
Tuscaloosa-Birmingham (Greene, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties)
EF-4
190 mph
1500 Injuries /
65 Fatalities
80.68 miles /
2600 yards
33.0297/-87.9350
443 pm
33.6311/-86.7436
614 pm
Haleyville (Marion and Winston Counties)
EF-3
150 mph
25 Injuries 
31.84 miles /
1320 yards
34.0289/-87.9421
510 pm
34.3039/-87.4968   547 pm
Sawyerville-Eoline (Greene, Hale and Bibb Counties)
EF-3
145 mph
50 Injuries /
7 Fatalities

72.13 miles /
1760 yards

32.6152/-88.0543
530 pm
33.1524/-86.9898
655 pm
Hubbertville (Fayette County)
EF-3
145 mph
None
7.96 miles /
0.5 mile
33.8129/-87.8108
606 pm
33.8683/-87.6892
614 pm 
Argo-Shoal Creek-Ohatchee-Forney (Jefferson, St. Clair, Calhoun, Etowah and Cherokee Counties)
EF-4 in WFO BMX
180 mph
(EF-2 in WFO FFC, GA)
81 Injuries /
22 Fatalities
71.30 miles /
1760 yards
33.6792/-86.5699
628 pm
34.0664/-85.4190
745 pm
Wateroak (Hale and Bibb Counties)
EF-1
110 mph
None
8.62 miles / 
300 yards
32.8478/-87.4922
650 pm
32.9047/-87.3605
702 pm
Marvel (Bibb and Shelby Counties)
EF-1
105 mph
None
5.41 miles /
50 yards
33.1169/-87.0081
732 pm
33.1560/-86.9274
738 pm
Pin Hook-Faunsdale (Sumter, Marengo, and Perry Counties)
3 Injuries
32.81 miles /
350 yards
32.3077/-88.0159
747 pm
32.4829/-87.4942
835 pm
Lake Martin (Elmore, Tallapoosa and Chambers Counties)
EF-4
170 mph
30 Injuries / 
7 Fatalities
44.18 miles /
880 yards
32.6174/-86.1930
812 pm
32.9196/-85.5230
909 pm
Vincent-Logan Martin (Shelby and Talladega Counties)
EF-1
105 mph
None
8.59 miles /
200 yards
33.3507/-86.4013
815 pm
33.4483/-86.3092
824 pm
Marion (Perry County)
EF-1
90 mph
None
4.24 miles /
100 yards
32.5519/-87.3142
850 pm
32.5748/-87.2466
853 pm
White Plains (Chambers County)
EF-1
110 mph
None
5.24 miles /
150 yards
32.9719/-85.3688
919 pm
33.0114/-85.2916
928 pm
Finley Creek (Chambers County)
EF-1
90 mph
None
5.01 miles /
100 yards
33.0158/-85.2938
929 pm
33.0836/-85.2633
938 pm
Verbena (Chilton County)
EF-0
80 mph
1 Injury
1.91 miles /
50 yards
32.7759/-86.5429
948 pm
32.7857/-86.5122
950 pm
 

National Weather Service meteorologists have completed the assessment of storm damage from this tragically historic day of tornadic activity and severe weather across Central Alabama on Wednesday, April 27th.  Nationally recognized storm damage experts assisted us in examining the locations of the most extreme damage to ensure we provide the most accurate assessment of this event as possible. 

In total, there were 29 confirmed tornadoes in Central Alabama on this day, and 62 confirmed tornadoes across the State of Alabama.

Click on the numbered boxes on the map below to view more detailed information about each tornado track.

 

The tornado damage "swaths" as depicted in the image above, and on the individual tornado links, are an estimate of the damage widths along the track.  In other words, the track width may not represent the actual damage in all locations, as we interpolate the values between actual surveyed damage points.  These maps are soley for the purpose of showing the general track of each tornado.  Remember, tornadoes do not always move in straight lines, and the intensity does not remain constant.  It is also possible to have other thunderstorm wind-related damage in close proximity to the tornado tracks from such features as inflow and rear flank downdrafts, which can produce tornado-like damage.  For a satellite image of the tornado tracks, click here. 

For comprehensive GIS information, including ESRI Shapefiles and Google Earth KMZ files of tornado paths, storm survey points, and tracks of all 62 tornadoes, click on the link below:

          

Pertinent Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data from the April 27th, 2011 Outbreak

 
Important Note: The Shapefiles and KMLs are experimental data.  The information contained within them is also subject to change as new data becomes available.

 

Central Alabama April 27th Statistics

 
- April 27th was one of the largest super-tornado outbreaks in Central Alabama history. 
- April 25th-28th was one of the largest super-tornado outbreaks in US history. 
- There were 29 confirmed tornadoes in Central Alabama on April 27th. 62 tornadoes occurred across the state.
- The combined tornado damage path length in Central Alabama was 691.02 miles.
- Sixteen of the tornadoes had damage path lengths over 10 miles long.
- Eight of the tornadoes had damage path lengths over 25 miles long.
- Eight tornadoes either started or ended outside Central Alabama.
- There were at least 1998 injuries reported and 140 people lost their lives.
- Tornado Watch 225 was in effect from 226 am CDT until 8 am CDT.
- Tornado Watch 230 was in effect from 812 am CDT until 2 pm CDT.
- PDS Tornado Watch 235 was in effect from 145 pm CDT until 10 pm CDT.
- PDS Tornado Watch 241 was in effect from 552 pm CDT until 1 am CDT.
- Tornado Watch 245 was in effect from 942 pm CDT until 2 am CDT.
- NWS BMX issued 49 Tornado Warnings.
- NWS BMX issued 24 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
 

Number of Tornadoes by EF-Scale

EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
1 10 5 8 4 1

 

Preliminary Local Storm Reports  
Local Hazardous Weather Outlooks Prior to Outbreak 

 
Other Storm Reports & Storm Surveys from this Historic Event
 

Severe Weather Episode Data 

 

Surface analysis 12z
Surface Analysis
Apr 27 at 7 am
Surface Analysis 18z
Surface Analysis
Apr 27 at 1 pm 
Surface analysis 21z
Surface Analysis
Apr 27 at 4 pm
Surface Analysis 00z
Surface Analysis
Apr 27 at 7 pm 
500 mb analysis 12z
500 mb Analysis
Apr 27 at 7 am
500 mb Analysis 00z
500 mb Analysis
Apr 27 at 7 pm 
Day 3 Outlook
Day 3 Severe Weather Outlook for Apr 27th
Issued Apr 25 at 2 am
Day 2 Outlook
Day 2 Severe Weather Outlook for Apr 27th
Issued Apr 26 at 1 am

Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook for Apr 27th
Issued Apr 27 at 7 am
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 27th
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 25th
Storm Reports
Storm Reports Apr 26th
Rotation Tracks
Rotation Tracks
TCL-BHM EF4
Long-Track Supercell Imagery
Ref Loop
Morning Reflectivity Loop
SRM Loop
Morning SRM Loop
Ref Loop
Afternoon Reflectivity Loop
SRM Loop
Afternoon SRM Loop
 

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