25 December 2012 Tornadoes


12/25/2012 Mobile EF-2 Track
12/25/2012 Mobile EF-2 Tornado Track
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12/25/2012 Mobile EF-2 Tornado Track in KMLShapefile Icon

During the afternoon of Christmas Day 2012, a tornado developed just southwest of downtown Mobile, Alabama. This tornado developed only five days after the first EF1 tornado developed and moved along a very similar path (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mob/?n=20121220_tornado).  This tornado outbreak was part of a larger scale outbreak that occurred over parts of east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and northwest Florida (Figure 1) that day. The severe weather continued eastward during the overnight hours to affect the Mid Atlantic States by midday on 26 December 2012.

As of this writing (midday 26 Dec 2012), storm surveys are underway across the region since the early morning hours. Figure 2 shows some of the tornado, hail and wind reports across the NWS Mobile-Pensacola Region that occurred ending at 11 PM CST Christmas night. Also, please see the latest Local Storm Report. Storm Survey teams have surveyed tornado paths in the following areas:

•    Northwestern Stone County, MS
•    Southern Perry County, MS
•    Western Greene County, MS
•    Wilmer, AL area (Mobile County)
•    Deer Park, AL area (Washington County)
•    Riderwood, AL area (Choctaw County)
•    Luverne, AL area (Crenshaw County)
•    Patsburg, AL (Crenshaw County)
•    Grove Hill, AL area (Clarke County)

•    Official Damage Survey Results for Mobile


Storm Reports
Figure 1
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Tornado, Wind, and Hail Reports
Figure 2
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Path of Strongest Radar Circulation
Figure 3
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Figure 3 shows a radar composite of where the strongest low-level radar circulation passed over downtown Mobile, AL and further northeast into Prichard between 450 and 505 PM CST.  This is not the actual tornado path. The following is a time series (Figures 4a-d) of the severe thunderstorm that produced the supercell tornado as it moved over the city of Mobile. On the left-handside of each image is the radar reflectivity closest to the ground and the radar velocity is to the right. The green (red) colors are air flowing towards (away) the radar located in West Mobile, AL. 

 Radar Image 1
Figure 4a
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 Radar Image 2
Figure 4b
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 Radar Image 3
Figure 4c
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 Radar Image 4
Figure 4d
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Highest Radar-Observed Circulation
Figure 5
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Finally, Figure 5 captures the highest radar-observed circulation around 501 PM CST (117 knots, based on 45 knots (or 52 mph) of airflow inbound and 72 knots (or 83 mph) of airflow outbound) which was located around 1400 ft above ground level. This was at a time when the tip of the radar hook was moving between midtown Mobile and Prichard, AL.  The diameter at this time was about 7/10 of a mile wide. This was not the actual tornado but was very, very close to being on the scale of the tornado. Although not shown, just five minutes prior to this image the strongest circulation (107 knots) was  around 2900 feet AGL. So we know the strongest circulation tightened while descending to the ground, which is classic.

This web page will be updated over the next few days as each of the tornado tracks is surveyed.








 Mobile Damage Photos

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Mobile Damage

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