Overview of the 9 March 2011 Central Gulf Coast Tornado Outbreak and Flash Flood Event


Regional Radar AnimationDuring the early morning hours of 9 March 2011, a squall line, with numerous embedded bowing structures, moved rapidly across the Central Gulf Coast Region and produced several tornadoes, moderate to widespread wind damage , extensive flash flooding and some large hail one inch in diameter. Damage was observed from southeastern Louisiana to eastern Georgia on this day (see NWS Storm Prediction Center preliminary Storm Reports in Fig. 2 below).  

Interior southeastern Mississippi, southwestern Alabama, and the northwestern Florida Panhandle were in the direct path of this system, which began west of the WFO MOB county warning area during the pre-dawn hour and moved rapidly eastward into the northwest Florida Panhandle by early afternoon (see regional radar loop in Fig. 1 (to right)( from 6 AM through 2 PM CST). Notable confirmed and surveyed damage locations include Wiggins, MS (90 mph thunderstorm wind gust), Seven Hills-Grand Bay, AL (EF1 tornado), Theodore, AL (EF2 tornado), Silver Hill, AL (an upper bound EF2 tornado), McDavid, FL (EF1 tornado) and Milton/Pace, FL (EF0 tornado).  Miraculously, there were some injuries, but no deaths occurred in association with this event.  

Additionally, the event had another side, and that was extensive flash flooding. Two different heavy rainfall maxima occurred (mostly in the 4 AM to 2 PM time frame). One rainfall maxima (see Figs. 3a-b) was located over the interior southeast Mississippi and southwestern Alabama (7-10 inches), and a second (see Figs 4a-b) along the Alabama and northwest Florida coastal counties (3-5 inches). 

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SPC Storm Reports for 3/9/2011
Fig. 2


1 Day Observed Precip 3/9/2011 12Z
Fig. 3a



CoCORaHS Daily Precip 3/9/2011 ending ~7 AM
Fig. 3b




1 Day Observed Precip 3/10/2011 12Z
Fig. 4a



CoCoRaHS Daily Precip 3/10/2011 ending ~7 AM
Fig. 4b


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