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.

A photo gallery of storm damage in Tift County is available here.

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).
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.

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).
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.

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.
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.

Photo of wind damage in the vicinity of Ty Ty, GA.

Photo of wind damage in the vicinity of Ty Ty, GA.

Photo of wind damage in the vicinity of Ty Ty, GA.
Figures 4, 5 and 6. Photos of wind damage in the vicinity of Ty Ty, GA.

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


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