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Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak
   During the early morning hours of 6 Feb 2008, the tail-end of  a weakening line of thunderstorms moved into southeastern Mississippi.  The previous afternoon, very warm moist and very unstable air flowed northward from the Gulf of Mexico and destabilized much of the eastern US from the Ohio Valley southwestward to eastern Texas.   As a result, numerous tornadoes occurred across the mid-South (hereby known as the 'Super Tuesday' Tornado Outbreak) where dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries occurred.  A tornado with fatalities occurred over northern Alabama.  Gulf Coast afternoon high temperatures soared into the upper 70s and lower 80s.

   Closer to home, isolated severe thunderstorm wind damage was all that our local atmosphere could muster.  There were no reports of hail or tornadoes.  Atmospheric moisture was certainly not limited (i.e., as Gulf Coast residents felt as if they were in a virtual 'steam-bath' that night) and thermodynamic instability was rather meager due to the passage of the line of thunderstorms during the late night hours.  However, the greatest atmospheric lift passed well to our north and very close to where the mid-South tornadoes occurred.  Around sunrise, the line of storms actually weakened and the line motion slowed as they made their approximate 8 h trek across our region (see the thunderstorm line upon entering southeastern Mississippi and exiting Okaloosa County Florida).  Just after sunrise, a surface cold front was observed to be moving into western Alabama behind the line of storms. This would bring an end to the sultry humid conditions plaguing the region the two days before.

   Officially there werethree reports of severe thunderstorm wind damage (two over southwestern and south central Alabama and one over the extreme northwest Florida Panhandle).  The following links depict radar reflectivity data very close to the time of damage for each location:

 


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