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Disclaimer

Disclaimer: NWS Mobile/Pensacola does not guarantee entries will be kept up to date immediately after a tornado event because resources may be needed elsewhere (e.g., storm surveys). Also, not every tornado and/or every piece of data associated with each may appear due to non-availability.


Acknowledgements:  The “Tornado Museum” began as a localized research study to examine the vertical wind shear characteristics of cold season (Oct-Mar) tornado-producing mesoscyclones in 2007.  The project’s Team Leader is Jeffrey M. Medlin (Science and Operations Officer) who also constructs each event’s sounding and hodographs.  Ray Ball (Information Technology Officer) designed and coded the museum’s web interface and installs the cases.  Joe Maniscalco (Forecaster) is the project’s Lead Synoptician and provides the upper air composite charts and critical surface analyses.  Chris Rothwell (General Forecaster, Key West, FL) was instrumental in organizing the database and also assisted with research. Student Volunteers Marc Sarza and Trey Alvey (University of South Alabama Undergraduate Meteorology Students) contributed by downloading radar data, organizing storm data and creating tornado paths.  Finally, we wish to also thank Jeffrey Cupo (Meteorologist in Charge) for greatly supporting this initiative.

Click on the map icons for event details.

Description

The National Weather Service (NWS) Mobile/Pensacola Tornado Museum presents select pieces of meteorological data to more fully describe and document each tornado that is greater than or equal to EF-1 intensity (or F1 prior to 2007) since June of 1994 that occurred within the NWS Mobile/Pensacola County Warning and Forecast Area (CWFA - click here to toggle on and off). Our CWFA spans portions of southeast Mississippi, south central Alabama, the extreme western Florida Panhandle and all of southwest Alabama. The year 1994 was chosen as a starting point because it was the year the WSR-88D radar was installed in Mobile, AL. Coincidentally there were no F1 or higher tornadoes between June and December of 1994. For the first time, the WSR-88D gave local NWS meteorologists the opportunity to not only analyze radar reflectivity, but it also provided velocity information which depicts the air flow inside of developing thunderstorms. The “Tornado Museum” is intended as a form of community outreach from your local NWS Mobile/Pensacola to the citizens we PROUDLY serve. Each case, at a minimum, presents a general description of the tornado, a graphical path, radar reflectivity and velocity images immediately BEFORE or SIMULTANEOUS WITH the tornado’s beginning (never after), a national storm report summary showing how the event fits in with those around it (courtesy NWS Storm Prediction Center), a sounding, a hodograph, a composite of various upper air features and a surface chart analyzed the hour before the tornado. For each case, all available data may be used to re-create soundings and hodographs based on their availability and “perceived meteorological representativeness” of the air mass in which the tornado formed. Weak tornadoes below EF-1 and F1 intensity are not documented due to their relative high frequency of occurrence.

Years 1997 - 2002 coming soon.


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