Huntsville Tornado, Nov. 15, 1989 - Southern Region Disaster Survey

Chronology of Actions/Reports at WSO Huntsville

 

  • 12:00 pm Dave Jacobs arrived to help work the severe weather. Normal shift time would have been 4 pm.

     

  • 12:01 pm SELS issued Tornado watch number 750, effective to 8pm. All available EMA offices were notified, and Bulletin was sent with tone alert on NWR.

     

  • 12:05 pm Scott Sharp, WSFO Intern, arrived at this time and immediately started to help out.
    Continuous radar coverage began at this time and a radar observation was sent at 1235 pm.

     

  • 12:45 pm Special Weather Statement was issued detailing radar indications and reiterating the tornado watch and the need to review safety rules.
    At about this time, the Madison County EMA office established the spotter network interface in WSO Radar room.

     

  • 12:45 pm Colbert County EMA reported 1/4 to 1/2 inch hail near Cherokee, Al.

     

  • 1:11 pm WSFO BHM issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Marion County (adjacent to Huntsville's counties) the warning was broadcast on NWR with tone alert.

     

  • 1:35 pm Radar observation was transmitted.

     

  • 1:40 pm Special Weather Statement was issued. Statement advised a warning may soon be issued for Franklin or Lawrence Counties.

     

  • 1:48 pm WSFO BHM issued Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Marion County which was broadcast with tone alert on NWR.

     

  • 2:09 pm WSFO BHM issued a Tornado Warning for Lamar and Marion Counties which was broadcast with tone alert on NVVR.

     

  • 2:33 pm Special Weather Statement was issued. Again, residents of Franklin and Lawrence Counties were advised that a warning may be forthcoming.

     

  • 2:41 pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin counties.

     

  • 2:50 pm 1/4 inch hail reported in Colbert County near Cherokee.

     

  • 2:55 pm WSFO BHM issued Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Marion and Winston Counties which was put on NWR with tone alert.

     

  • 2:59 pm 1/2 inch hail in Colbert County near Cherokee.

     

  • 3:00 pm "Pea-sized" hail reported west Lauderdale County.

     

  • 3:01 pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for Lawrence County as severe storms move from BHM warned counties into our warning area.

     

  • 3:05 pm 3/4 inch hail north of Cherokee in Colbert County.

     

  • 3:06 pm "Pea to marble sized" hail near Phil Campbell in Franklin County.

     

  • 3:15 pm Severe Weather Statement issued for warning area. Statement also said 'These storms are dangerous and not to be taken lightly...the storms should reach the Huntsville area between 4 and 5 pm CST'.

     

  • 3:20 pm "Pea-size" hail and wind damage in Colbert County near Barton.

     

  • 3:22 pm Trees reported blown down north of Florence in Lauderdale County.

     

  • 3:30 pm Homes and vehicles severely damaged by straight-line winds (from EMA director report) in east Lauderdale County near Killen.

     

  • 3:40 pm Tornado Warning issued for Lawrence and Morgan Counties. A possible hook was detected on radar.

     

  • 3:42 pm "Golfball-size" hail in Colbert County between Oakville and Caddo.

     

  • 3:48 pm 3/4 inch hail reported in Decatur area of Morgan County.

     

  • 3:54 pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence Counties. Warning changed from Tornado Warning to Severe Thunderstorm Warning because of the nature of damage reports received. Radar did not show tornado indications, but cell top had reached 55,000 feet and exhibited a bow shape. At about this time Brenda Page (AOIC) called to check on weather and was asked to report in as soon as possible.

     

  • 4:05 pm Wind damage and injuries reported northern Florence in Lauderdale County. Damage had occurred earlier.

     

  • 4:09 pm Large hail again reported in Decatur, Morgan County.

     

  • 4:10 pm "Pea-size" hail County Line Road (between Madison/Limestone Counties near WSO).

     

  • 4:13 pm Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for Morgan, Madison and Limestone Counties. Warning based on radar and numerous hail reports.

     

  • 4:15 pm Wall cloud observed by WSO personnel. Cloud was not rotating and dissipated rapidly.

     

  • 4:24 pm Severe Weather Statement issued. Hail and damaging winds highlighted for warned areas.

     

  • 4:27 pm Heavy rain and hail at WSO. Radar severely attenuated. At about this time Brenda Page arrived at the WSO.

     

  • 4:30 pm Spotters reported tornado at old airport area in Huntsville.

     

  • 4:32 pm Another spotter said there was no tornado.

     

  • 4:33 pm More tornado reports were received.

     

  • 4:35 pm Tornado Warning issued for Madison County. The warning was sent out "live" on NWR with tone alert due to momentary outage on line between SRWarn computer and AFOS. Warning was sent on AFOS from SRWARN at 4:39 pm.

     

  • 5:02 pm Tornado Warning issued for Jackson, Madison and Marshall Counties as tornado producing cell continues past Huntsville.

     

  • 5:18 pm Severe Weather Statement issued canceling Tornado Warning for Madison County...continuing warning for Jackson and Marshall Counties.

     

  • 5:34 pm "Golf-ball" sized hail near Paint Rock in Jackson County.

     

  • 5:40 pm Severe Weather Statement issued.

     

  • 5:45 pm High winds and "golf-ball" sized hail at Rosalie in Jackson County.

     

  • 5:55 pm Local storm report issued.

     

  • 5:59 pm Tornado Warning issued for Marshall and Dekalb Counties.

     

  • 6:00 pm "Pea-sized" hail and heavy rain at Grant in Marshall County.

     

  • 6:20 pm Funnel cloud reported at Collinsville in DeKalb County.

     

  • 6:30 pm Severe Weather Statement issued. Watch canceled for much of area (except Northeast corner).

 

back Table of contents. next

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.