April 2, 2009 Severe Weather

Preliminary Storm Survey Information
 

Storm surveys have been completed examining storm damage that occurred in the early evening hours on Thursday, April 2nd.  Preliminary summaries for these surveys are found below. All tornado ratings use the Enhanced Fujita Scale.


Eastern Colbert County, AL (Whiteoak)

Rating EF-1 Peak Wind 100 mph
Path Length 0.3 miles Peak Path Width 75 yards

A tornado touched down about one mile south of Whiteoak on County Line Road, damaging the roof of a church and snapping or uprooting several large trees and limbs. After damaging the church, the tornado crossed over County Line Road and produced additional damage. Several medium sized trees were snapped or uprooted northeast of County Line Road, and numerous power lines were downed. The tornado lifted before crossing Highway 157 near Bingham.

This National Weather Service radar image from 3:48pm shows a broad area of circulation south of Leighton near the Whiteoak community. This tornado was likely the result of a non-descending mesocyclone. This means the circulation developed closer to the ground than most storms. Because the Columbus AFB radar is nearly 70 miles away, the stronger circulation occurred below the radar beam. This is a perfect example of why storm spotters are an integral part of National Weather Service warning operations. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar near Columbus AFB, MS.

 

The front of this church sustained considerable damage in the tornado. The roof was damaged and, the steeple was blown off.
An unanchored building was destroyed, and several trees were downed
This radio tower was no match for the tornado's violent winds.
Some homes in the area sustained relatively minor damage but nothing as bad as the damage at the church.
This tree was splintered by the tornado.
This tree was splintered by the tornado.

Limestone County, AL (Tanner Crossroads)
Rating EF-0 Peak Wind 80 mph
Path Length 1.7 miles Peak Path Width 50 yards

 A tornado touched down on Ingram Road, just to the east of Sandlin Street, southwest of Tanner Crossroads. Several small to medium trees were snapped or uprooted. A house also sustained initial damage from the tornado at this location. The tornado continued to snap large trees as it moved northeast towards the intersection of Stewart Road and Rosie Road. At this location, a barn had several sheets of metal peeled back on the roof. Shingles were also blown off of a shed and two houses nearby. The tornado continued moving northeast before lifting near the intersection of Nuclear Plant Road and Highway 31.

This National Weather Service radar image from 4:35pm shows an area of circulation south and southwest of Tanner. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

This National Weather Service radar image from 4:35pm shows an area of circulation south and southwest of Tanner. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

 

The tornado snapped several trees along Ingram Road, at the beginning of the damage path.
The tornado snapped several trees along Ingram Road, at the beginning of the damage path.
The tornado displaced this debris from an outbuilding into a driveway.
The tornado displaced this debris from an outbuilding into a driveway.
This garage was damaged by the tornado.
This garage was damaged by the tornado.
The roof of this barn was damaged by the tornado.
The roof of this barn was damaged by the tornado.

Northeastern Morgan County, AL (Lacey's Spring)
Rating EF-1 Peak Wind 105 mph
Path Length 1.2 miles Peak Path Width 200 yards

 The tornado touched down in a field south of Lower Dry Creek Road in the Lacey’s Spring area, snapping several small trees, and causing minor damage to some residences near the road. The tornado intensified as it crossed Kay Road, snapping larger trees and destroying a shed. The most significant damage occurred as it moved into the Sherbrook Drive area, snapping and uprooting several large trees. Several trees fell onto nearby homes, causing major damage, but the tornado circulation itself did only minor damage to the manufactured houses. The tornado lifted shortly afterwards in the same neighborhood.

This National Weather Service radar image from 5:27pm shows an tight velocity couplet approaching the Lacey's Spring community. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

This National Weather Service radar image from 5:27pm shows an tight velocity couplet approaching the Lacey's Spring community. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

 

Falling trees caused most of the damage in the Laceys Spring area. This car was among the numerous objects damaged by trees and large tree branches.
Falling trees caused most of the damage in the Laceys Spring area. This car was among the numerous objects damaged by trees and large tree branches.
Not one, but two trees fell on this mobile home, essentially destroying it. Amazingly, two people who were taking cover in this mobile home when the trees fell on it were not injured.
Not one, but two trees fell on this mobile home, essentially destroying it. Amazingly, two people who were taking cover in this mobile home when the trees fell on it were not injured.
This mobile home was split in half by a large tree that fell on it.
This mobile home was split in half by a large tree that fell on it.
The roof of this home was damaged near the end of the tornado path. Insulation, shingles, and other debris were scattered by the tornado.
The roof of this home was damaged near the end of the tornado path. Insulation, shingles, and other debris were scattered by the tornado.

Madison County, AL (West Huntsville)
Rating EF-0 Peak Wind 85 mph
Path Length 0.7 miles Peak Path Width 50 yards

 A tornado first touched down just southwest of Butler High School, snapping or uprooting several large trees or limbs, one of which fell on top of a nearby home. Several small- to medium-size trees were snapped or uprooted on the Butler High School campus, then the tornado crossed the road and caused further tree damage in the Fairway Drive area north of Holmes Avenue. The tornado lifted before exiting the neighborhood.

This National Weather Service radar image from 8:06pm shows weak rotation in the western part of Huntsville along I-565. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

This National Weather Service radar image from 8:06pm shows weak rotation in the western part of Huntsville along I-565. The base reflectivity product in the left panel shows rainfall intensity. The storm relative velocity product in the right panel shows winds toward (in green) and away (in red) from the radar at Hytop, AL.

 

Near the beginning of the tornado path, large tree limbs were blown onto this house.
Near the beginning of the tornado path, large tree limbs were blown onto this house.
This row of trees in front of Butler High School was damaged by the tornado. Interestingly, only certain branches of the tree were snapped, while some remained mostly unharmed.
This row of trees in front of Butler High School was damaged by the tornado. Interestingly, only certain branches of the trees were snapped, while some remained mostly unharmed.
This large tree was uprooted by the tornado.
This large tree was uprooted by the tornado.
Near the end of the tornado path, utility crews were still working to restore power to houses north of Holmes Avenue.
Near the end of the tornado path, utility crews were still working to remove limbs and restore power to houses north of Holmes Avenue.

 

 


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