High risk of a major tornado outbreak today; 13 dead from Leap Day outbreak

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:14 PM GMT on March 02, 2012

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A powerful spring storm system is gathering strength over Missouri this morning, and will track northeastward into Southern Michigan tonight. The atmosphere in the storm's warm sector, south of the the warm front and east of the cold front, is very unstable, thanks to a flow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the surface, and very cold, dry air aloft. A powerful jet stream with winds winds aloft blowing at 150 mph will interact with this unstable air, and the strong change of wind speed and direction with height (wind shear) associated with this jet will impart a strong twisting motion to updrafts that from in this afternoon's thunderstorms along the cold front. These are ideal conditions for tornado formation, and a large tornado outbreak with damaging long-track tornadoes is likely late this afternoon in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon and evening, and is warning of the possibility of long-track significant tornadoes. While the conditions are not as dangerous as those we saw in 2011 during the May 21 - 25 Joplin, Missouri and late April Southeast U.S. tornado outbreaks, the potential exists for a punishing tornado assault with many more strong and violent tornadoes than occurred during the Leap Day outbreak. A number of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds have already formed this morning along the storm's warm front, in Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. Consult our Severe Weather Page and Interactive Tornado Page to follow the storms.


Figure 1. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon. This is highest level of alert.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is calling for a 30% chance of tornadoes today within 25 miles of each point in the pink shaded area. Within the hatched area, there is a 10% or greater probability of strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes, or violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point.

Leap Day tornado outbreak death toll hits 13
The cleanup continues today from the round of deadly tornadoes that pounded the Midwest on Leap Day, killing thirteen people. The outbreak began on February 28, when nine confirmed tornadoes touched down. A pair of EF-2 tornadoes hit Buffalo, Missouri and Harveyville, Kansas, with each twister causing one death. Also on that day, a weak EF-0 tornado moved over open fields near Gandy, Nebraska--the first February tornado in Nebraska since record keeping began in 1950. The outbreak continued on Leap Day, February 29, with 27 more confirmed tornadoes. Hardest hit was Harrisburg, Illinois, where a violent EF-4 tornado with 180 mph killed six, injured approximately 100, and damaged 200 homes and 25 businesses. The tornado cut a path 26.5 miles long and 275 yards wide across the town, according to the NWS damage survey. The only EF-3 tornado of the outbreak hit Asherville, Missouri that day, killing one person. The other deadly tornadoes of the outbreak included an EF-2 tornado that killed one person in Cassville, MO; an EF-2 that killed two in Monterey, Tennessee, and an EF-1 that killed one person in Smithville, Tennessee. An EF-2 tornado also plowed through downtown Branson, Missouri on Leap Day, injuring 33 people. An NWS storm survey found the tornado was 400 yards wide and carved a path 22 miles long. Overall, damage from the two-day tornado outbreak will run in the hundreds of millions, and could add up to the first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 in the U.S. The 36 confirmed tornadoes from the outbreak make it the second largest February tornado outbreak since record keeping began in 1950. The biggest February tornado outbreak occurred on February 5 - 6, 2008, when 92 tornadoes touched down.


Figure 3. Damage at the Branson, Missouri Hilton after the Leap Day tornado. The tornado blew out or cracked windows in 219 of the hotel rooms in the 12-story/295 room Hilton Branson Convention Center, and extensively damaged three of Branson’s 50 plus theatres--Americana Theater, Branson Variety Theater and Dick Clarks’ American Bandstand Theater. Image credit: BransonRecovery Facebook page.

Portlight disaster relief charity responds to the Harrisburg, Illinois tornado
Portlight has a seasoned veteran from last year's tornado recovery efforts in Harrisburg, IL, and is looking for more people to volunteer their time. They are teaming with another disaster recovery charity, Team Rubicon, in the effort. As usual, they will be focusing efforts on the unserved, under served and forgotten. Please visit the Portlight Disaster Relief blog to learn more. Donations are always welcome!


Figure 4. Team Rubicon at work during last year's tornado recovery efforts.

Jeff Masters

HARRISBURG IL (catfish10)
HARRISBURG IL
HARISBURG IL. (catfish10)
Golden circle building
HARISBURG IL.

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Updates on our response effortsLink
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Good morning Nea. Check your posted link. Takes me back to WU.

Link


Link
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I found this video from West Liberty
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From the Indianapolis Star, here's an aerial photo of Marysville:

uh-oh

EF-3 with some possible EF-4 damage, maybe?
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Still quite a few tornado warnings around the Florida panhandle into Georgia and SE Alabama. (now 8.50 AM EST, Saturday)

As for the rest, I don't think that they could possibly be done counting the bodies or casualties yet.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
morning everyone

Good Morning, Glad to see nothing major happened to you. Sounded really crazy up there last night.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i wonder how many times i said that yesterday...hmm...idk =P


My weather radio woke me and my grandparents up twice last night. first, a severe thunderstorm warning for county above me, then a severe thunderstorm watch covering all 4 of my alert counties

Shouldn't you have it set for only your county?
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The following image is an overlay tally of the last four days' worth of storm reports to the SPC. Pretty impressive for the time of year, no? Kentucky is barely visible.

SPC
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be back l8r
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1995. fuzed
Quoting AussieStorm:

A few more today then a few days rest to clear up and prepare for the next round. Godspeed


OUCH! hopefully people are prepared.
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morning everyone
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Heavenly Father, please provide comfort to those in need. AMEN


i wonder how many times i said that yesterday...hmm...idk =P


My weather radio woke me and my grandparents up twice last night. first, a severe thunderstorm warning for county above me, then a severe thunderstorm watch covering all 4 of my alert counties
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290

WFUS52 KTAE 031329

TORTAE

GAC087-131-205-031400-

/O.NEW.KTAE.TO.W.0019.120303T1329Z-120303T1400Z/



BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED

TORNADO WARNING

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL

829 AM EST SAT MAR 3 2012



THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A



* TORNADO WARNING FOR...

NORTHEASTERN DECATUR COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...

NORTHWESTERN GRADY COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...

SOUTHWESTERN MITCHELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...



* UNTIL 900 AM EST



* AT 826 AM EST...A DEVELOPING TORNADO HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEAR MOUNT PLEASANT...MOVING EAST AT 35

MPH.



* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO

VADA...HARRELLS STILL AND SPENCE



PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...



TAKE COVER NOW! LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES FOR SAFER STRUCTURES.

MOVE TO A HALLWAY OR CLOSET ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND

OUTSIDE WALLS.



A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE WARNED AREA. IF A TORNADO

IS SPOTTED...ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A STURDY

STRUCTURE...SUCH AS A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.



&&



LAT...LON 3118 8416 3100 8414 3100 8446 3109 8447

TIME...MOT...LOC 1329Z 261DEG 30KT 3105 8444
$$
BARRY
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TS Irina is almost off my tracking map...my map stop at 35E, might lose her if she continues on her track :/

oh well, atleast it aint nothing major :D
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Heavenly Father, please provide comfort to those in need. AMEN
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While things are slow...
And hopefully it'll stay that way!!!

"Oceans Turning Acidic Faster than Past 300 Million Years."

Link

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quiet dis mornin....
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Any pictures out of WEST LIBERTY yet?
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6.9 Earthquake southeast of Loyalty Islands...
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3-4 fatalities confirmed in West Liberty, KY, 14 across the state. Toll across the United States now to 31.

Very saddening.
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733

WFUS52 KTAE 031242

TORTAE

GAC095-205-321-031315-

/O.NEW.KTAE.TO.W.0018.120303T1242Z-120303T1315Z/



BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED

TORNADO WARNING

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL

742 AM EST SAT MAR 3 2012



THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A



* TORNADO WARNING FOR...

CENTRAL WORTH COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL GEORGIA...

SOUTHEASTERN DOUGHERTY COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...

NORTHEASTERN MITCHELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...



* UNTIL 815 AM EST



* AT 738 AM EST...A DEVELOPING TORNADO HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEAR PUTNEY...MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.



* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO

SYLVESTER



PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...



TAKE COVER NOW! LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES FOR SAFER STRUCTURES.
MOVE TO A HALLWAY OR CLOSET ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND
OUTSIDE WALLS.
A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE WARNED AREA. IF A TORNADO
IS SPOTTED...ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A STURDY
STRUCTURE...SUCH AS A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.&&
LAT...LON 3159 8382 3137 8380 3139 8412 3149 8414

TIME...MOT...LOC 1242Z 261DEG 21KT 3145 8411
$$
22-BARRY
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
What a day.

A few more today then a few days rest to clear up and prepare for the next round. Godspeed
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What a day.
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GAC007-205-031300-

/O.CON.KTAE.TO.W.0017.000000T0000Z-120303T1300Z/

MITCHELL GA-BAKER GA-

729 AM EST SAT MAR 3 2012



...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 AM EST FOR SOUTHERN

BAKER AND NORTHWESTERN MITCHELL COUNTIES...



AT 725 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO

INDICATE A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR MIMSVILLE...MOVING

EAST AT 35 MPH.



OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO

HAWKINSTOWN...HOPEFUL...NEWTON...MITCHELL CO A/P...CAMILLA AND FLINT



PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...



WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO THE
LOWEST LEVEL OF THE BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.
&&
LAT...LON 3116 8412 3116 8454 3125 8454 3126 8460

3126 8462 3144 8418

TIME...MOT...LOC 1229Z 257DEG 32KT 3123 8448
$$
22-BARRY
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
718 AM EST SAT MAR 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
BAKER COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...
NORTHEASTERN MILLER COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...
NORTHWESTERN MITCHELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...

* UNTIL 800 AM EST

* AT 715 AM EST...A DEVELOPING TORNADO HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 18 MILES SOUTHWEST OF NEWTON...OR NEAR
COOKTOWN...MOVING EAST NORTHEAST T 35 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
CAMILLA

Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11112
Did you just see TWC?

Indiana tornado lifted a slab house clean off the foundation and threw it over 100 yards through the air, past a shed, and dropped it on the ground.

I don't know what they'll rate that as officially, but isn't that like automatically EF5?

Old "F5" definition:

"Incredible damage.
Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 m (109 yd); trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures severely damaged."
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A very brief respite, and then the warmth returneth: these maps from HAMweather show high and low temperature anomalies forecast for the next four days across the continental U.S.:

DAY 1
WarmWarm

DAY 2
WarmWarm

DAY 3
WarmWarm

DAY 4
WarmWarm
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OMG,95 tornadoes were reported on a preliminary way in this big and historic outbreak. I am sure that the stats will show some changes in the numbers as the damage is seen and studied. I am eagered to see those updated stats later today to see how this 2012 season is rolling like a lion and we are only in early March. My prayers go to the families of the victims.
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1974. LargoFl
Good Morning folks! sort of overcast here this morning, clouds racing north over the gulf, cold front supposed to be around here tonight or tomorrow morning, 35 mph winds tomorrow they say but today 80 degree's and sunny later on...my prayers for all those in the path of those storms yesterday, never in my life have I seen anything so terrible over so many states at the same time, 29 dead so far, hundreds missing, whole towns destroyed, leveled..geez.
well sorry i posted warnings so much yesterday, guess i got caught up in all this....take care
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Good morning.
I have to be honest, I think we were lucky to not see more fatalities in yesterdays outbreak. While the death toll will probably rise some, this was not as bad as it could have been. Imagine if the Henryville or Marysville or West Liberty tornado had hit a major city... It would have been a catastrophe. It's still a tragedy as it is, but it could've been worse.
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Deleted -- didn't look at the warning cancelation times in 1969 GeorgiaStormz's posting
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AT least 29 people were killed in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio Friday night and dozens more were missing as a cluster of powerful tornadoes and severe storms left a trail of destruction across America's heartland.

Late Yesterday (today AEDT), authorities had confirmed 13 deaths in Indiana, 14 in Kentucky and two in Ohio.

Reports surfaced early Saturday that West Liberty, Kentucky, - a small town of about 3000 people, 160km east of Lexington had been smashed to pieces by a powerful tornado.

Firefighters told WKYT-TV that three people were dead in the area, while Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Kenny Dulin told the Lexington Herald-Leader that dozens of people were thought to be missing.

Southern Indiana suffered some of the worst damage, with an entire town reportedly wiped off the map by tornadoes. Marysville - population 1900 - was "completely gone," said Clark County Sheriff's Department Maj. Chuck Adams, according to WXIN-TV.

There was similar scenes of severe damage in nearby Henryville, in Clark County, where a twister slammed into Henryville High School, leaving several people trapped. The school's roof was torn off, segments of wall were knocked down and windows blown out, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

One of the twisters spotted in the region was apparently about 800 metres wide.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security confirmed four deaths in Jefferson County in the southeastern corner of the state, north of Louisville, Kentucky, four deaths in Washington County, three deaths in Scott County and two deaths in Ripley County.

Several more deaths in southern Indiana were reported by various media outlets, but had not been confirmed by authorities.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in a statement that he would travel to affected areas on Saturday morning.

"Once again Mother Nature has dealt harshly with Indiana. Our every thought is with those we've lost and those who have suffered," Mr Daniels said.

Across the border in Kentucky, several funnel clouds swirled around Louisville, but the city was not directly impacted.

Governor Steve Beshear's office released a statement late yesterday (today AEDT), saying the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center confirmed four fatalities in Menifee County and one fatality in Kenton County.

Kentucky authorities later told the Lexington Herald-Leader that two more deaths had been confirmed in Kenton County, four deaths had been recorded in Laurel County, while one person died in Morgan County.

In addition - after earlier declaring a state of emergency - Beshear said 50 Kentucky National Guard troops and a mobile Guard unit had been mobilized and sent to Morgan County to assist with storm recovery efforts.

Several tornadoes were also reported to have touched down in Ohio - with a man in his 50s killed when the storm struck his mobile home on Ohio 133 in Bethel, Ohio, Clermont County spokeswoman Kathy Lehr told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

In Moscow, Ohio, on the bank of the Ohio River about 48km southeast of Cincinnati, a woman died when her home collapsed, authorities told the Enquirer, adding that many houses had been ripped from their foundations when a tornado touched down in the area.

Millions of people from Louisiana to Ohio faced an anxious evening with a severe weather warning extending through last night, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), and tornado watches issued for 10 states.

FEMA offered condolences to those touched by the storm, and said in response "we have personnel assembled and on alert, should the affected states request additional assistance."

The NWS described the massive storm system as "a very moist and unstable environment" that could produce "a few strong, long-track tornadoes over central and southern Indiana, southern and western Ohio, much of Kentucky and northern Tennessee."

The latest round of severe weather comes just days after a massive storm system spawned dozens of tornadoes and left 13 people dead in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas.

Storm-weary residents across the region were just beginning to clean up and assess damage from this week's powerful storm system.

A 13th fatality from the earlier storms was confirmed late Thursday in the tiny town of Harveyville, Kan. Authorities said a 53-year-old man died from tornadoes that leveled half the town.

Five of those killed in the small southern Illinois city of Harrisburg had lived on the same street.
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1970. RTLSNK
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TORNADO WARNING
GAC013-135-297-030745-
/O.NEW.KFFC.TO.W.0025.120303T0658Z-120303T0745Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
158 AM EST SAT MAR 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN BARROW COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHERN GWINNETT COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHERN WALTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA

* UNTIL 245 AM EST

* AT 156 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
SNELLVILLE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
GRAYSON...LOGANVILLE...BETWEEN...BETHLEHEM AND WINDER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO A
BASEMENT OR INTERIOR ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR. STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE
A STURDY SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

IF YOU SEE WIND DAMAGE...HAIL OR FLOODING...WAIT UNTIL THE STORM HAS
PASSED...AND THEN CALL THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOLL FREE AT 1 8
6 6 7 6 3 4 4 6 6. YOU CAN ALSO TWEET YOUR REPORT USING HASHTAG GAWX.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 500 AM EST SATURDAY MORNING
FOR NORTHERN GEORGIA.

&&

LAT...LON 3393 8359 3391 8363 3389 8363 3388 8359
3383 8355 3376 8395 3378 8398 3377 8401
3385 8405 3403 8367
TIME...MOT...LOC 0658Z 247DEG 39KT 3382 8396

$$


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rotation still going e of atlanta. if it gets any stronger, we may get a warning:
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Thanks to everyone who gave me info on donation sites. I was most interested in Portlight since I come from a hurricane prone area. I'm glad to hear they are still going strong! Silly me, should have just read through the whole blog entry :/

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a little stronger....
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Crazy night. There's some pretty bad damage just north of me (I'm north of Atlanta) but in my neighborhood there's not even leaves scattered about.

Lots of rain though and lightning. I could see that some trees are going to go down if there are any straight line winds.
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moderate rotation east of atlanta
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rotation strentghening east of atlanta and in east cobb co
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Well goodnight everyone.
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seems as if a boy echo may form with the storms in ga and alabama, ones over alabama are strenghtening.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
the warining did include rotation, but it seems to be gone now.
Yah was not a Tornado warning. This cell looks like its getting its act together.
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the warining did include rotation, but it seems to be gone now.
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Ow no. TVS almost over downtown Atlanta.

No tornado warning still.
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1957. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
gone all be back after 12 noon

need some sleep now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53606
skfa;sd (georgia stormz wakes up)


quarter and 60 in downtown atlanta.

would be interesting to have a torndado
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1955. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53606
Cant believe I'm going to say this but a discrete cell has formed near Atlanta and it has rotation.
Think it needs to be warned.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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