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An unusual, widespread January severe thunderstorm outbreak began on Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, 2013 and has delivered a swath of damaging winds and some tornadoes from the Southern Plains to the lower/middle-Mississippi Valleys, Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley and Mid-Atlantic, a distance of roughly 1700 miles over a little less than 48 hours. The storm system also produced strong non-thunderstorm wind gusts in parts of the Northeast and New England into early January 31.
Severe Outbreak Radar History
Radar loop from Jan. 29, 2013 (6am EST) through Jan. 31, 2013 (6am EST).
Severe Reports Tally (as of Jan. 31)
- 34 confirmed tornadoes in 10 states (Currently fourth largest January tornado outbreak)
- 699 high wind/wind damage reports
- 13 reports of large hail
- 384 strong non-thunderstorm wind gusts and 200 reports of non-thunderstorm wind damage (mostly in Northeast).
The damage reports are plotted on the interactive map above. Click each report to read about the damage.
Here are some of the notable reports:
- An EF2 tornado touched down in the pre-dawn hours in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., with estimated winds of 115 mph. Heavy damage was observed at the ballpark. The tornado's path length was 4.6 miles.
- A high-end EF3 rating has been given to a tornado that flipped numerous cars and leveled homes in Adairsville, Ga. This same supercell thunderstorm then damaged multiple structures near Calhoun, Ga. Roughly 100 vehicles were flipped as the tornado crossed I-75 near Calhoun. The total path length was approximately 20 miles long.
Sadly, there was one fatality from the Adairsville, Ga. tornado, ending what had been a record tornado death-free streak in the U.S. of 219 consecutive days, since the last U.S. tornado death on June 24, 2012.
The old U.S. record streak was 197 straight days without a tornado fatality, ending on Feb. 28, 1987, according to Severe Weather Expert, Dr. Greg Forbes.
Damaging non-thunderstorm winds then swept into the Northeast during the early morning hours of Jan. 31, 2013. Gusts to 81 mph were measured in southern New England, including 60-65 mph gusts at both New York-La Guardia and Boston-Logan Int'l Airports. At least 215,000 lost power in the Northeast.
iWitness weather user fshelton25 says he was driving home on Interstate 75 in Adairsville, Ga. Wed., Jan 30 when he saw a wedge tornado right in front of his car.