Tornado Moves Through McIntosh on January 10, 2009

GIS Image Depicting Track of Mesocyclone and EF-1 Tornado Damage Just East of

McIntosh Alabama

On Sunday morning, a storm damage assessment team from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Mobile completed a ground survey of the tornado damage that occurred late Saturday afternoon in McIntosh, Alabama (Southeastern Washington County). 

The images below show the mesocyclone couplet at its strongest... as it tracked toward McIntosh Alabama.

This circulation eventually spawned the tornado which struck the city about 20 minutes later.

At 450 PM CST 10Jan09 a strong mesocyclone couplet was observed.

Notice the missing velocity data, indicative of a very strong circulation.

454 PM CST 10Jan09

459 PM CST 10Jan09

504 PM CST 10Jan09

Summary

Rating:  EF-1 Tornado (estimated at 97 mph)

Path Length:  1.6 statute miles

Path Width:  150-200 yards wide

Location:  From Boykin Boulevard to vicinity of the Ciba plant entrance immediatly east of the Topton Road and U.S. Highway 43 interstection.

Time of Event:  505 PM CST

Injuries:  None

Fatalities:  None

On Saturday afternoon at approximately 505 PM CST, an EF-1 tornado developed very near the intersection of Topton Road and U.S. Highway 43.  The exact beginning of the damage path was just yards away from where Boykin Boulevard and Geigy road intersect.  The damage path ended near the Ciba plant.  The National Weather Service had posted a tornado warning for the McIntosh Area at 445 PM CST, 20 minutes prior to the event. 

Two eyewitnesses at the Ciba plant heard the tornado in advance and then witnessed the tornado as it moved through their location.  From the damage indicators observed during the survey, the highest wind speed rating of 104 mph was assigned due to the observation of numerous pine trees whose trunks were snapped.  EF-1 tornado wind speeds range from 86 to 110 mph, so this is closer to the upper end of the EF-1 category. 

Damage Information

Numerous pine trees were snapped at their bases along the entire path and extensive roof damage was observed to single family residence homes.  One home's carport was completely destroyed with approximately half of its roofing deck missing.  This particular residence provided excellent ground truth of the converging winds associated with the tornado as it moved through this location. 

Carport roof removed from house near Boykin Blvd

Carport roof removed from house near Boykin Blvd.

Shingle/roof damage to house near Geigy Rd

Shingle/roof damage to house near Geigy Rd.

Trampoline wrapped around tree

Trampoline wrapped around tree.

Half the roof missing from house near Boykin Blvd

Half the roof missing from house near Boykin Blvd.

    

   

The Ciba plant experienced damage to several of its building (roofs and light metal awnings).  High winds also blew through the glass door entry-ways of several buildings.  Also, the winds blew out the rear windshields out of an entire row of pickup trucks. One pickup truck in the parking lot was flipped upside down and extensive tree damage occurred near the entrance to the plant. 

Ciba plant truck near visitor building

Ciba plant truck near visitor building.

Damage behind visitor building at Ciba plant

Damage behind visitor building at Ciba plant.

Ciba plant building damage

Ciba plant building damage.

Ciba tanker outer skin deformed. Inner tank unaffected.

Ciba tanker outer skin deformed. Inner tank unaffected.


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