|Severe Weather of February 28, 2009|
On Saturday, February 28, 2009, a vigorous upper-air disturbance was approaching the southeast U.S. from the northwest. An east-west surface frontal boundary had been stationary for several days across central Georgia and Alabama. A surface low developed on the frontal boundary in Georgia, which began to push the front southward into southern Alabama and the Florida Big Bend on Saturday evening. Out ahead of the cold front, moist, unstable air, coupled with increased vertical wind shear, produced several severe thunderstorms across the Tallahassee County Warning Area. Straight-line wind damage was reported in southeast Alabama, southwest and south central Georgia, and the eastern Florida Panhandle, with the most significant damage being reported in Tift County, Georgia. Golfball-sized hail was also reported in Holmes County, Florida, north of Interstate 10 near New Hope.
Figure 1. Series of Moody AFB Doppler radar (KVAX) base reflectivity images depicting the development and eastward movement of a bow echo structure near Ty Ty, GA, on February 28, 2009, between 1955 and 2010 UTC (2:55 pm and 3:11 pm EST). Significant wind damage in Ty Ty (indicated by the white dot) occurred around 3 pm EST.
Figure 2. Series of Moody AFB Doppler radar (KVAX) base velocity images depicting the development and eastward movement of patch of strong west winds behind the bow echo structure near Ty Ty, GA, on February 28, 2009, between 1955 and 2010 UTC (2:55 pm and 3:11 pm EST). Significant damage in Ty Ty (indicated by the white dot) occurred around 3 pm EST. The blue area shows strong radial velocities around 50-55 knots (67-73 mph) in the Ty Ty area. A trigonometric conversion of the radial velocity suggests straight line west winds near 90 mph.
Figure 3. Ft Rucker Doppler radar (KEOX) reflectivity on Saturday night at 7:38 pm CST (0138 UTC). Left image is the 0.5-degree reflectivity. The right image is at the 3.4-degree elevation angle showing what is commonly called a hail spike, indicative of large hail growth aloft. The image depicts the reflectivity at 16,900 ft, some 4,000 ft above the freezing level. Golf ball size hail was reported shortly after this time.
The following local storm report contains additional details on the severe weather reports for this event.
000 NWUS52 KTAE 031907 LSRTAE PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...CORRECTED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 207 PM EST TUE MAR 03 2009 ..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 1250 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 NE FORT RUCKER 31.36N 85.69W 02/28/2009 DALE AL EMERGENCY MNGR ONE TREE DOWN ACROSS A ROADWAY IN DALE COUNTY. ONE HOME ALSO STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. 0220 PM TSTM WND DMG ALBANY 31.58N 84.18W 02/28/2009 DOUGHERTY GA LAW ENFORCEMENT A FEW LARGE TREES DOWN ON 1800 BLOCK OF DAWSON ROAD. TIME ESTIMATED. 0305 PM TSTM WND DMG TY TY 31.47N 83.65W 02/28/2009 TIFT GA EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL ROOFS OFF HOMES 0305 PM TSTM WND DMG TY TY 31.47N 83.65W 02/28/2009 TIFT GA LAW ENFORCEMENT SEVERAL VEHICLES OVERTURNED. POWER OUTAGE. TRAFFIC LIGHTS OUT. 0305 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 NNW TY TY 31.49N 83.66W 02/28/2009 WORTH GA LAW ENFORCEMENT ROOFS BLOWN OFF AND TREES DOWN ON TY TY SYCAMORE ROAD. 0310 PM TSTM WND DMG TIFTON 31.47N 83.51W 02/28/2009 TIFT GA EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN 0323 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 NW ALAPAHA 31.40N 83.25W 02/28/2009 BERRIEN GA LAW ENFORCEMENT SEVERAL TREES DOWN OVER HIGHWAY 82 AT MILE MARKER 12. TIME ESTIMATED BY RADAR. 0330 PM TSTM WND DMG BAINBRIDGE 30.91N 84.58W 02/28/2009 DECATUR GA EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL TREES DOWN 0348 PM TSTM WND DMG 7 N CAIRO 30.98N 84.21W 02/28/2009 GRADY GA EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL TREES DOWN. TIME ESTIMATED BY RADAR. 0523 PM TSTM WND DMG SNEADS 30.71N 84.92W 02/28/2009 JACKSON FL EMERGENCY MNGR SEVERAL TREES SNAPPED. PARTIAL ROOF OFF SCHOOL. 0623 PM FUNNEL CLOUD 1 W MINEOLA 30.91N 83.36W 02/28/2009 LOWNDES GA LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED ON I-75 AT MILE MARKER 23. 0655 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 N LEESBURG 31.75N 84.17W 02/28/2009 LEE GA EMERGENCY MNGR A MOBILE HOME WAS MOVED OFF ITS FOUNDATION. 0730 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 N CUFFIETOWN 31.78N 83.82W 02/28/2009 WORTH GA LAW ENFORCEMENT ROOF LIFTED OFF A HOME ON GLEATON ROAD. 0840 PM HAIL NNW NEW HOPE 30.95N 85.88W 02/28/2009 E1.75 INCH HOLMES FL PUBLIC GOLF BALL SIZED HAIL REPORTED. && $$ GODSEY