February 24, 2011 Severe Weather Outbreak Summary...updated 12 AM-2/26

A powerful storm system brought two rounds of significant weather to the Midsouth between Wednesday, February 23 and Thursday, February 24, 2011.  The first round occurred late Wednesday as a warm front stalled near I-40.  Widespread showers and thunderstorms producing heavy rain trained over far northeast Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel, and northwest Tennessee for much of Wednesday night.  This resulted in 3 to 5 inches of rain and areas of flash flooding from around Walnut Ridge eastward across northwest Tennessee. 

The stalled front was associated with a developing low pressure system in the southern Rockies.  This system continued to develop as it propagated east across Oklahoma Thursday morning, central Arkansas Thursday afternoon, along I-40 in the Midsouth Thursday evening, and into central Kentucky by late Thursday night.  Throughout much of the day, the front remained nearly stationary and was the boundary between temperatures in the 60s and 70s south and 40s and 50s north. 

A strong southerly flow south of the front allowed dew points to rise into the low and mid 60s as colder air aloft began to push overhead.  This created an unstable situation and set the stage for a severe weather event Thursday evening.  As the system approached and lift increased, a quasi-linear line of severe thunderstorms (QLCS) developed along and ahead of a strong cold front Thursday afternoon across Arkansas and Louisiana.  This line of severe storms tracked east across the Midsouth Thursday evening.  Because winds were very strong just above the surface, embedded bowing segments within the line produced significant wind damage with some winds topping off at speeds between 60 and 100 mph.  According to a severe weather spotter near Henderson, TN, the line produced estimated wind speeds around 100 mph as it passed through.  A measured gust of 64 mph also occurred at the Jackson, TN ASOS station, later causing it to fail.

National Weather Service damage survey teams were dispatched Friday.  One EF-2 tornado was confirmed in Parsons, TN with maximum estimated winds of 120 mph.  The rest of the damage was the result of straight-line winds generally between 70 and 95 mph.  A summary of the findings are listed below the total rainfall map.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.  Please check back frequently!

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Below is a radar estimated total rainfall map for the combined period of February 23 and 24th.

Radar estimated total rainfall map of February 23 and 24.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEMPHIS TN
1046 PM CST FRI FEB 25 2011

...PRELIMINARY STORM REPORT FROM HENRY COUNTY TENNESSEE...

* LOCATION: RUSSWOOD SHORES AREA NEAR KENTUCKY LAKE.

* TIME OF EVENT: FEB 24 2011 AT 8:30 PM CST

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 70-75 MPH

* INJURIES: NONE

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS MOVED THROUGH
EXTREME NORTHEAST HENRY COUNTY. TREE DAMAGE WAS FOUND ALONG EAST
ANTIOCH ROAD AND IN THE RUSSWOOD SHORES AREA NEAR KENTUCKY LAKE.
ONE TREE FELL ONTO A HOME CAUSING SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. OTHER
HOMES RECEIVED MINOR DAMAGE FROM DEBRIS AND STRAIGHT LINE WIND.
ESTIMATED WIND SPEEDS ARE BETWEEN 70 AND 75 MPH. NO INDICATIONS
OF A TORNADO WERE FOUND IN THIS AREA.



...PRELIMINARY SUMMARY FROM POINSETT AND MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES...

* LOCATIONS: MCCORMICK...MARKED TREE...LEPANTO AND WEST RIDGE IN ARKANSAS

* TIME OF EVENT: FEB 24 2011 BETWEEN 6:05 PM CST AND 6:25 PM CST

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 85-95 MPH

* INJURIES: NONE

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS MOVED THROUGH
EASTERN POINSETT AND WESTERN MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES. MCCORMICK WAS
THE FIRST TOWN TO RECEIVE DAMAGE AT AROUND 6:05 PM CST.
ESTIMATED WIND GUSTS AT 80 MPH RESULTED IN 15 TO 20 POWER LINE
POLES DOWN ALONG HIGHWAY 214 JUST EAST OF MCCORMICK. ISOLATED
TREE DAMAGE WAS FOUND AT VARIOUS SPOTS ALONG THE PATH OF THIS
STORM. THE WORST DAMAGE WAS FOUND NEAR THE TOWN OF WEST RIDGE.
POWER LINE POLES WERE DOWN...A FEW TREES WERE SNAPPED AND A
CINDER BLOCK GARAGE WAS DESTROYED WITH THE METAL ROOFING BLOWN
OVER 200 YARDS FROM THE BUILDING. IN ADDITION...A STORAGE
BUILDING RECEIVED DAMAGE TO THE SIDING AND A BARN LOST SOME
SHINGLES. NO TORNADO DAMAGE WAS FOUND AS A RESULT OF THESE
STORMS.



...PRELIMINARY SUMMARY FROM LAUDERDALE COUNTY IN TENNESSEE...

* LOCATIONS: GATES AND RIPLEY

* TIME OF EVENT: FEB 24 2011 BETWEEN 7:05 PM AND 7:15 PM

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 80-90 MPH

* INJURIES: NONE

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS MOVED THROUGH
EAST CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST LAUDERDALE COUNTY. THIS IS THE SAME
STORM THAT PRODUCED DAMAGE ACROSS POINSETT AND MISSISSIPPI
COUNTIES IN ARKANSAS. A TREE OR TWO WAS DOWN IN THE TOWN OF
RIPLEY. THE TOWN OF GATES RECEIVED DAMAGE AS THE STORM CONTINUED
NORTHEAST. DAMAGE WAS FOUND TO TREES AND FENCES IN GATES. POWER
LINE POLES WERE ALSO DOWN IN THE TOWN.



...PRELIMINARY SUMMARY FROM CRITTENDEN AND SHELBY COUNTIES...

* COUNTIES: CRITTENDEN IN ARKANSAS...SHELBY IN TENNESSEE

* LOCATIONS: CRAWFORDSVILLE...MARION...MILLINGTON...AND BARTLETT

* TIME OF EVENT: FEB 24 2011 BETWEEN 6:30 PM AND 7:05 PM

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 85-95 MPH

* INJURIES: NONE

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS MOVED THROUGH
EASTERN CRITTENDEN AND NORTHERN SHELBY COUNTY. THE PATH OF
DAMAGE BEGAN NEAR THE TOWN OF CRAWFORDSVILLE. SEVERAL TREES WERE
DOWN OR SUFFERED LIMB DAMAGE. SHINGLES OR METAL ROOFING WAS
RIPPED OFF SEVERAL STRUCTURES. SEVERAL PICKUP TRUCKS AND LARGE
TRACTORS FOR FARMING HAD BROKEN WINDOWS. WINDS IN THIS AREA WERE
ESTIMATED AT AROUND 80 TO 85 MPH. WIND DAMAGE WAS ALSO FOUND AT
THE DELTA ACRES SUBDIVISION LOCATED 5 MILES NORTH OF MARION
ALONG HIGHWAY 77. SEVERAL TREES AND FENCES WERE BROKEN OR DOWN
IN THIS AREA. SIDING AND SHINGLES WERE OFF OF ALMOST ALL THE
HOUSES IN THIS SUBDIVISION. WINDS IN THIS LOCATION WERE
ESTIMATED AT 70 TO 80 MPH. THE STORM CONTINUED TO MOVE EAST AND
CROSSED THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. THE DAMAGE PATH CONTINUED NEAR
MEEMAN-SHELBY FOREST STATE PARK. POWERLINES WERE DOWN...TREES
AND A METAL SHED WERE ALSO DAMAGED. A SMALL PLANE WAS FLIPPED
OVER AT THE CHARLES W BAKER AIRPORT AND A NEARBY FIRE DEPARTMENT
SUSTAINED SOME ROOF DAMAGE. WIND SPEEDS IN THIS AREA WERE
ESTIMATED AT 70 MPH. THE STORM ENTERED MILLINGTON AT AROUND 6:55
PM...PRODUCING TREE AND SHINGLE DAMAGE ACROSS THE CITY. TREES
AND POWERLINES WERE SNAPPED ALONG NAVY ROAD AND SINGLETON ROAD
ON THE NAVAL BASE. WIND SPEEDS IN MILLINGTON WERE ESTIMATED AT
85 TO 95 MPH. SHINGLE DAMAGE WAS ALSO NOTED ACROSS BARTLETT.
WIND SPEEDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 60 TO 70 MPH. NO TORNADO DAMAGE WAS
NOTED IN THE DAMAGE ALONG THIS STORM PATH.



...PRELIMINARY EF-2 TORNADO IN DECATUR COUNTY TENNESSEE...

* LOCATION/TIME OF EVENT: BEGAN AT APPROXIMATELY 8:30 PM CST AND
CROSSED THE TENNESSEE RIVER BY 8:45 PM CST

* BEGINNING POINT: 2 MILES NORTHWEST OF PARSONS TENNESSEE

* ENDING POINT: CHEROKEE LANDING AREA AT THE TENNESSEE RIVER

* RATING: EF-2

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 120 MPH

* PATH LENGTH: 12 MILES

* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 400 YARDS

* FATALITIES: 0

* INJURIES: 0

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: SCATTERED DAMAGE WAS FOUND THROUGH FOREST
AND PASTURE LAND WITH LARGE TREES UPROOTED AND SNAPPED. MAJOR
DAMAGE WAS SUSTAINED TO A MOBILE HOME IN THE FIVE FORKS AREA. A
LARGE GRAIN BIN WAS TOSSED 50 YARDS AND DESTROYED AS WELL AS
MINOR DAMAGE TO HOMES AND TREES IN THE BIBLE HILL AREA. SEVERAL
TOMBSTONES WERE ALSO OVERTURNED AND DAMAGED IN BIBLE HILL. THE
MOST SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OCCURRED ON BLUE BIRD CIRCLE AT THE LICK
CREEK INLET. 8 HOMES SUSTAINED ENOUGH DAMAGE TO RENDER THEM
UNINHABITABLE ALONG WITH DAMAGE TO PRIVATE BOAT DOCKS AND
PONTOON BOATS. A ROOF TO A FLOATING BOAT DOCK WAS LIFTED OFF OF
ITS FOUNDATION AND TOSSED APPROXIMATELY ONE HALF MILE ACROSS THE
INLET AND DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO HOUSES AND BUSINESSES WERE
ESTIMATED AT 1.285 MILLION DOLLARS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS APPRECIATION
TO DECATUR COUNTY EMA KEVIN CAGLE AND MARK HOLLOMAN OF THE
TENNESSEE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN
CONDUCTING THIS SURVEY.


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