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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Quoting Patrap:
Wunderful job by all rolling info.


It can make a difference.



I hope so, would like to think we aren't just speaking to ourselves, i.e. other weather geeks.
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alroker : Madison County, Al emergency managers said in a statement that several houses were "leveled" in one neighborhood in the Walker Lane area.
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PDS Tornado Watch Box

Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) Tornado Watch #57
Issued/Updated: Mar 02, 2012 at 1603 UTC
Expires: Mar 03, 2012 at 0000 UTC
Tornado Watch 57 Status Message has not been issued
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200. flsky
Quoting Ameister12:
I'm now under a high risk for severe weather. I hope these storms don't hit while I'm here at school. Anyone else being affected by these storms, be very safe.


Do they have a safe place for you to go at school? If not, head for the restroom.
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Scroll back to read the PDS Tornado Watch and other

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I wasn't expecting these things to start dropping until the afternoon, is it normal for these sorts of conditions to create this much trouble so early? Is there worse yet to come?

Stay safe out there.
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Here come the high dew points.
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855
WFUS54 KMRX 021657
TORMRX
TNC007-143-021730-
/O.NEW.KMRX.TO.W.0016.120302T1657Z-120302T1730Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
1057 AM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
BLEDSOE COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...
RHEA COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 1130 AM CST/1230 PM EST/

* AT 1054 AM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR PIKEVILLE.
DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
SPRING CITY...MELVINE...EVENSVILLE AND GRANDVIEW.

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.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 300 PM CST FRIDAY
AFTERNOON/400 PM EST FRIDAY AFTERNOON/ FOR CENTRAL TENNESSEE.



LAT...LON 3578 8513 3578 8504 3576 8503 3577 8491
3583 8481 3582 8480 3575 8476 3558 8482
3551 8525 3566 8531
TIME...MOT...LOC 1658Z 245DEG 48KT 3564 8514
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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH KY
1055 AM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PADUCAH HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
EASTERN CARTER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI...
WAYNE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI...

* UNTIL 1130 AM CST.

* AT 1051 AM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL...AND
DESTRUCTIVE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 70 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 6
MILES NORTHWEST OF HUNTER...OR 7 MILES EAST OF VAN BUREN...AND
MOVING EAST AT 65 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNED AREA INCLUDE...
GREENVILLE...ELLSINORE...WILLIAMSVILLE AND MILL SPRING.
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I'm now under a high risk for severe weather. I hope these storms don't hit while I'm here at school. Anyone else being affected by these storms, be very safe.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
3
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Wunderful job by all rolling info.


It can make a difference.

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A lot of advisories today..Tornado Watch
Wind Advisory
Special Weather Statement
Hazardous Weather Outlook
Hydrologic Outlook

Today: Showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe, with large hail and damaging winds. High near 76. Southwest wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms likely before midnight, then a slight chance of showers. Some storms could be severe, with large hail and damaging winds. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming north northwest. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.


Current Local Weather

view Yesterday's Weather
Crossville Memorial-Whitson Field Airport
Lat: 35.96 Lon: -85.08 Elev: 1867
Last Update on Mar 2, 9:53 am CST

Thunderstorm in Vicinity Light Rain

62 °F
(17 °C)
Humidity: 86 %
Wind Speed: S 13 G 29 MPH
Barometer: 29.69" (1004.3 mb)
Dewpoint: 58 °F (14 °C)
Visibility: 9.00 mi.
More Local Wx: 3 Day History:
Radar and Satellite (Click for larger image)
Link to Local Radar Data
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waff.com/link/401277/you-track-storms

Stormchaser LIVE feed embedded
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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
1149 AM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN TAZEWELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
WESTERN GILES COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
BLAND COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
MERCER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST WEST VIRGINIA

* UNTIL 1230 PM EST.

* AT 1148 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR BOISSEVAIN...OR NEAR BLUEFIELD...AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
BLUEFIELD...
MERCER COUNTY AIRPORT...
SANDLICK...
PRINCETON...
ATHENS...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE...SEEK SHELTER FROM THE WEATHER IN A STRONG
BUILDING. DAMAGING WIND...LARGE HAIL...VERY HEAVY RAIN...AND DEADLY
LIGHTNING ARE ALL POSSIBLE IN SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. STAY INSIDE AWAY
FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.

LARGE HAIL AND...OR STRONG DAMAGING WINDS ARE LIKELY WITH THIS STORM.
IN ADDITION...TORRENTIAL RAINS MAY FLOOD LOW LYING AREAS SUCH AS
DITCHES AND UNDERPASSES. DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS
THE ROAD!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
watch yer self hydrus you got a cellar or other place to go bro
No. We do have a safe room in the middle of the " brick " house ..:)
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.
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919
WFUS54 KMRX 021649
TORMRX
TNC065-115-021730-
/O.NEW.KMRX.TO.W.0014.120302T1649Z-120302T1730Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
1049 AM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
HAMILTON COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...
MARION COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 1130 AM CST/1230 PM EST/

* AT 1045 AM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 12 MILES WEST OF
SOUTH PITTSBURG...OR 13 MILES NORTHWEST OF BRIDGEPORT. DOPPLER
RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
JASPER...SOUTH PITTSBURG...WHITWELL...ORME...HALETOWN (GUILD)...
MARTIN SPRINGS AND POWELLS CROSSROADS.

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.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 300 PM CST FRIDAY
AFTERNOON/400 PM EST FRIDAY AFTERNOON/ FOR CENTRAL TENNESSEE.



LAT...LON 3498 8586 3499 8587 3514 8587 3524 8544
3520 8540 3513 8540 3507 8539 3503 8543
3497 8550
TIME...MOT...LOC 1649Z 243DEG 50KT 3504 8587
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Quoting hurricanejunky:
BREAKING NEWS: Tornado emergency issued for Madison County, Alabama, where dangerous twister has caused widespread damage.


Madison County is a major part of the Huntsville Metropolitan Area.
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Quoting hydrus:
Strange color in the sky here. Tornadoes just south of me for the second time in two days.

Take Care!
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179. flsky
showing huntsville area right now on cnn
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Quoting hydrus:
Strange color in the sky here. Tornadoes just south of me for the second time in two days.
watch yer self hydrus you got a cellar or other place to go bro
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
Strange color in the sky here. Tornadoes just south of me for the second time in two days.
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TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
1139 AM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
MORGAN COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 1215 PM EST

* AT 1136 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 14 MILES NORTH
OF FAIRFIELD GLADE...OR 16 MILES SOUTH OF JAMESTOWN. DOPPLER RADAR
SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
HIGH POINT...DEERLODGE AND SUNBRIGHT.
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Local Law Enforcement on the scene at Meridianville High School.

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Quoting ncstorm:
They need to cancelled School!
Schools can be a safer place than wooden structures or moble homes IF the students are sheltered properly.

Anyone have an update on the high school that was hit in Meridianville, Al?
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New update to convective outlook, close to what i expected.







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New convective outlook:

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166. flsky
Story on Discovery.com about WU's Best Forecast:

Link
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Quoting ncstorm:
They need to cancelled School!


Be careful with that thinking... look up Belvidere, IL.
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rad sigs from huntsville indicate DBZ exceeded 75
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56075
BREAKING NEWS: Tornado emergency issued for Madison County, Alabama, where dangerous twister has caused widespread damage.
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TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
1031 AM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
MARION COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 1115 AM CST

* AT 1026 AM CST...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO 10 MILES
SOUTH OF SEWANEE...OR 17 MILES NORTHWEST OF BRIDGEPORT. DOPPLER
RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
MONTEAGLE...WHITWELL...MARTIN SPRINGS...GRIFFITH CREEK AND POWELLS
CROSSROADS.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

"Large and dangerous" typically implies a wedge. =P


No, not necessarily. Many times tornadoes are reported as "large and dangerous" and they are not wedge tornadoes. Wedge tornadoes are wider than they are tall. We have little information to go on to ascertain that. Although a remote sensing tool, radar representation was not that of typical very large, wedge type tornadoes.

Large and dangerous can just easily just mean a tornado more like a stove-pipe and causing damage. Or it could be that the size was exaggerated due to the hectic nature of the situation.
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Tornado in Virginia.

TORNADO WARNING
VAC167-169-191-520-021700-
/O.NEW.KMRX.TO.W.0010.120302T1622Z-120302T1700Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
1122 AM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
RUSSELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...
EXTREME EASTERN SCOTT COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...
CITY OF BRISTOL IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL NOON EST

* AT 1118 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 11 MILES EAST OF
WEBER CITY...OR 12 MILES WEST OF BRISTOL VA. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED
THIS TORNADO MOVING EAST AT 60 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
ABINGDON...BENHAMS...HANSONVILLE...HILANDER PARK...HOLSTON...
LINDELL...EMORY-MEADOW VIEW...GLADE SPRING AND KONNAROCK.

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.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.



&&

LAT...LON 3660 8236 3674 8245 3700 8179 3696 8177
3694 8181 3692 8183 3679 8169 3666 8163
TIME...MOT...LOC 1622Z 249DEG 51KT 3670 8230

$$







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Damage with injuries from the Storm reported by Local law Enforcement, many Homes damaged.
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Limestone Correctional Facility takes "direct hit" from possible tornado

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Alabama - Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong said Limestone Correctional Facility took a "direct hit" from the storm. He said there are injuries and more than 1,000 feet of fence down around the prison.

"They called me and said they've got a bunch of injuries over there" at the prison. He also said at least one home was damaged north of the Sparkman Ninth Grade Academy and an 18-wheeler overturned on Jeff Road near the Highway 53 intersection.
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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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