December 24, 2008 Severe Weather

Preliminary Storm Survey Information
 
Storm surveys have been completed examining storm damage that occurred in the afternoon hours on Wednesday, December 24th.  Information found in these surveys is described below. All tornado ratings are using the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Southeast Limestone County
Rating EF-1 Peak Wind 110 mph
Path Length 1.6 miles Peak Path Width 50 yards

A squall line that moved across the Tennessee Valley produced tornado damage in southern Limestone county. The tornado developed in a forested area just east of Interstate 65 north of Garrett Road. Trees toppled onto a vehicle being used by hunters. The tornado tracked through a cotton field for about 1/2 mile before intensifying to EF-1 strength destroying two single wide trailer homes. One was lifted off its foundation entirely with debris found several hundred yards downwind. Fortunately, no occupants were in either location.

The tornado then tracked into a farmstead along Mooresville road completely destroying two large tractor sheds. Two of the adjacent homes sustained minor damage to the roof. Several cedar and cypress trees were either snapped or uprooted with one landing atop a vehicle. The tornado crossed Mooresville road, uprooted and snapped additional trees, and collapsed a small shed onto vehicles. One wall of an old small farmhouse also collapsed. No occupants were in this home.

 

Collapsed Tractor Shed near Belle Mina Destroyed mobile home in Belle Mina Collapsed tree near house in Belle Mina Collapsed mobile home in Belle Mina
 
Hytop, AL Reflectivity from 3:30 PM CST
This is a radar image from 3:30pm (just a few minutes before the tornado touched down).Note the bowing segment along the line in southeastern Limestone County.
Hytop, AL Storm-Relative Velocity from 3:30 PM CST
This storm relative velocity image, also from 3:30pm, shows very broad circulation in the Belle Mina area. The actual tornadic circulation was too shallow for the radar to detect, which is why a tighter circulation does not show up on this image.

 


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