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National Weather Service, Mobile-Pensacola

 

April 15th, 2011 Tornado Outbreak

 

 

The 15 April 2011 Tornado Outbreak across the Deep South was part of a 3-day violent weather outbreak (April 14-16). In total, there were 178 tornadoes over this 3 day period with 73 tornadoes on April 15 alone. 18 of the 73 tornadoes occurred across the NWS Mobile/Pensacola County Warning Area (CWA). View all the storm reports across the NWS Mobile CWA in the image below. To view all reports submitted to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), head over to the SPC Severe Weather Archive.

 

 

Numerous supercells developed late in the morning on April 15, 2011 and persisted through the evening hours across Mississippi and Alabama. Yet another round of severe storms developed in the evening hours preceding a strong cold front.The first tornado touched down at 1610 UTC (11:10am CDT) in Choctaw County, AL. The last tornado touched down at 0508 UTC (12:08am CDT) in Escambia County, AL. There were several long track tornadoes during this tornado outbreak including the Monroe/Butler County, AL EF-2 Tornado that spanned 24.5 miles and the Escambia County, AL tornado that spanned 23 miles. In total, there were 4 tornadoes with track lengths that spanned more than 18 miles. All the warnings issued by NWS Mobile during this event can be viewed below.

 

 

Detailed information on each of the 18 tornadoes surveyed by forecasters from NWS Mobile can be found in the table below.

 

Location State Begin (UTC) End (UTC) Path Length (Miles) Path Width (Yards) EF Scale
Choctaw County AL 1610 1610 0.1 50 EF-0
S. Clarke County AL 1620 1627 3.3 600 EF-1
Choctaw County AL 1626 1636 4.7 50 EF-0
State Line MS 1641 1647 5.1 200 EF-1
S. Clarke County AL 1647 1648 0.2 100 EF-2
Choctaw County AL 1648 1656 5 50 (est.) EF-0
Washington County AL 1704 1705 0.9 100 EF-2
Monroe County AL 2006 2006 0.1 300 EF-1
Monroe County AL 2024 2028 2 200 EF-3
Choctaw County AL 2132 2143 7.2 100 (est.) EF-1
Monroe County AL 2211 2212 0.9 300 EF-2
Monroe/Butler County AL 2222 2307 24.5 400-500 EF-2
Choctaw County AL 2312 2338 18.8* 1000 EF-2
Leakesville MS 0045 0116 19 500 EF-3
Citronelle AL 0305 0309 1.3 50 EF-0
Butler County AL 0401 0409 2.8 400 EF-2
Escambia County AL 0445 0453 5.4 75 EF-1
Escambia County AL 0508 0539 23 300 EF-2

*exited NWS Mobile CWA and entered NWS Birmingham CWA

 

A detailed look at the layout of the tornado tracks (including the EF scale of each tornado) across the NWS Mobile CWA can be viewed in the graphic below.

 

In all, this tornado outbreak was one of the most significant outbreaks to ever affect the country to-date (prior to the 27 April 2011 Outbreak).

 

Leakesville, MS EF-3 Tornado
This tornado begin at approximately 745pm on April 15th west of Leakesville (just south of Highway 57) in Greene County, MS. After the tornado crossed Highway 57, it strengthened to EF-3 intensity and turned east toward the city of Leakesville (traveling parallel to Highway 57). In Greene County, this EF-3 damaged 98 houses: 47 with minor damage, 28 with major damage and 23 houses completely destroyed. 14 businesses were completely destroyed. 1 fatality occurred in a destroyed mobile home. In Mississippi, this tornado caused an estimated 11.1 million dollars worth of property damage to houses and businesses.

The tornado continued to travel east-northeast into extreme southwest Washington County, AL near County Road 8. This is where several mobile homes were damaged or completely destroyed. 3 fatalities and 3 injuries occurred in a damaged mobile home in Deer Park, AL. Extensive tree damage of nearly 400 yards was also noted in several areas along the path. This tornado lifted just prior to reaching Highway 45 near Deer Park in
Washington County, AL at approximately 816pm.

Maximum winds of 160mph were noted with this EF-3 tornado and it was on the ground for 20 miles. In total, there were 4 fatalities and 9 injuries. More information on this tornado can be found in our Tornado Museum.

After the tornado moved through Leakesville, MS, the debris ball can be noted on radar imagery and loop (as seen below).

 


 

 

A few pictures and an aerial view of the EF-3 tornado damage (predominantly in the Leakesville, MS area) are shown below. Click on the images for a larger view.

 

    

   

    


Public Information Statement (from April 20th)

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
915 PM CDT WED APR 20 2011

...WEDNESDAY DAMAGE SURVEY FINDS AN EF-2 TORNADO TRACK ACROSS
ESCAMBIA AND COVINGTON COUNTIES AND AN EF-1 TORNADO ACROSS NORTH
CENTRAL ESCAMBIA COUNTY ALABAMA...

...ELEVEN TORNADO TRACKS NOW CONFIRMED...

BELOW ARE THE DETAILS REGARDING THE ELEVEN TORNADOES IDENTIFIED TO
DATE. THE NEWEST TORNADO TRACK SURVEYED WILL APPEAR AT THE TOP OF
THE LIST. THE INFORMATION BELOW IS STILL CONSIDERED PRELIMINARY AND
SUBJECT TO FURTHER REVISION.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: APPLETON, ALABAMA TO 9 MI NORTH OF BREWTON, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-1 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 100 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.227N / -87.123W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.255N / -87.040W
* PATH LENGTH: 5 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 75 YARDS
* NOTES: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN IN THE SMALL COMMUNITY OF
APPLETON PRODUCING EF-0 INTENSITY TREE DAMAGE. SCATTERED TREE DAMAGE
CONTINUED ALONG THE TRACK TO THE NORTHEAST. A QUONSET HUT STYLE HOME
(MADE OF CORRUGATED METAL) WAS DESTROYED ON HIGHWAY 31...VERY CLOSE
TO THE CONECUH COUNTY LINE. A SMALL OUTBUILDING WAS ALSO OVERTURNED
ON THE LOT. THE TORNADO LIFTED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF HIGHWAY 31 NEAR
COUNTY ROAD 57.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: DAMASCUS, ALABAMA TO ANDALUSIA, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-2 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 130 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.203N / -86.860W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.280N / -86.482W
* PATH LENGTH: 22 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 300 YARDS
* NOTES: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN JUST WEST OF DAMASCUS ROAD
AND QUICKLY INTENSIFIED AS IT MOVED EAST. EF-2 INTENSITY DAMAGE WAS
OBSERVED ALONG DAMASCUS ROAD. TWO MOBILE HOMES AND ONE WOOD FRAME
RESIDENCE (WITH STRAIGHT NAILED IN WALLS) WERE DESTROYED. SEVEN
OTHER MOBILE AND FRAMED HOMES WERE DAMAGED. ALL OF THE TREES IN A 70
YARD PATH WERE SNAPPED MID TRUNK OR LOWER. THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO
TRAVEL EAST NORTHEAST...PRODUCING TREE DAMAGE ACROSS EXTREME EASTERN
ESCAMBIA COUNTY AND EXTREME SOUTHERN CONECUH COUNTY. THE TORNADO
THEN TRACKED INTO WESTERN COVINGTON COUNTY...PRODUCING ROOF DAMAGE
TO A FEW HOMES ALONG COUNTY ROAD 42. AN UNATTACHED GARAGE WAS ALSO
HEAVILY DAMAGED WHEN THE GARAGE DOOR FAILED...ALLOWING THE WIND TO
BLOW OUT THE BACK WALLS OF THE STRUCTURE. THE TORNADO MAINTAINED
EF-1 INTENSITY AS IT MOVED TOWARD THE SOUTH SIDE OF ANDALUSIA. MOST
OF THE DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED ALONG COUNTY HIGHWAY 59 ALONG AND EAST OF
U.S. HIGHWAY 29. SOME OF THE DAMAGED OBSERVED INCLUDED SHINGLE
DAMAGE AND A CONTINUATION OF TREE DAMAGE. ONE HOME SUFFERED ROOF
DAMAGE WHEN SOME TREES FALL ONTO IT. THE TORNADO WEAKENED TO AN EF-0
AND LIFTED NEAR HIGHWAY 55...BUT NOT BEFORE CAUSING ROOF DAMAGE TO
THE ANDALUSIA COMMUNITY CENTER.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: STATE LINE, MISSISSIPPI TO LATON HILL, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-1 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 100 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.429N / -88.473W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.473N / -88.403W
* PATH LENGTH: 5 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 200 YARDS
* NOTES: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN ON HIGHWAY 57 JUST SOUTH OF
SAINT PETER STREET IN STATE LINE AND MOVED NORTHEAST TOWARD HIGHWAY
45...PRODUCING EF-0 TREE DAMAGE. IN ADDITION...A WINDOW WAS BLOWN
OUT OF A HOME LIKELY DUE TO DEBRIS AND AN ABANDONED CHURCH LOST PART
OF ITS TIN ROOF. THE TORNADO STRENGTHENED TO EF-1 INTENSITY AS IT
MOVED INTO WASHINGTON COUNTY WITH THE DAMAGE OCCURRING NEAR AND
ALONG HIGHWAY 56. A FREE STANDING GARAGE AND METAL BUILDING WERE
DESTROYED...A TREE FELL ONTO A HOME CAUSING ROOF DAMAGE...TWO HOMES
SUFFERED ROOF DAMAGE DUE TO THE WIND...AND CHIMNEY AND GARAGE DAMAGE
WAS NOTED ON ANOTHER HOME. THE TORNADO WEAKENED AND LIFTED NEAR
JESSIE WILLIAMS ROAD JUST NORTH OF HIGHWAY 56.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: YARBO, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-2 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 130 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.551N / -88.283W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.561N / -88.268W
* PATH LENGTH: 1 MILE
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 150 YARDS
* INJURIES: 1
* NOTES: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN ON HIGHWAY 17 IN YARBO
PRODUCING EF-0 INTENSITY DAMAGE TO TREES. THE TORNADO QUICKLY
STRENGTHENED AS IT MOVED NORTHEAST...DESTROYING A SMALL WOOD FRAMED
HOME SITTING ON CINDER BLOCK PIERS. THE OCCUPANT INSIDE THE HOME
SUFFERED BROKEN RIBS AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL. THE
TORNADO THEN QUICKLY WEAKENED AND LIFTED JUST TO THE NORTHEAST OF
THE RESIDENCE.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION:CITRONELLE, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-0 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 85 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.096N / -88.253W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.097N / -88.232W
* PATH LENGTH: 1 MILE
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 50 YARDS
* NOTES: A BRIEF EF-0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR NORTH 6TH STREET...
MOVED DUE EAST AND LIFTED JUST EAST OF HIGHWAY 45. SCATTERED TREE
DAMAGE WAS NOTED ALONG THE PATH. IN ADDITION...A MOBILE HOME
SUFFERED ROOF DAMAGE AND A PORTION OF THE ROOF WAS TORN OFF OF AN
APARTMENT COMPLEX.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: LEAKESVILLE, MISSISSIPPI TO DEER PARK, ALABAMA
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-3 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 160 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.129N / -88.632W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.212N / -88.321W
* PATH LENGTH: 20 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 500 YARDS
* FATALITIES: 4
* INJURIES: 9
* NOTES: AN AERIAL SURVEY HAS REVEALED ONE TORNADO TRACK FROM
LEAKESVILLE TO DEER PARK. THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN WEST OF
LEAKESVILLE JUST SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 57. IT CROSSED THE HIGHWAY...
STRENGTHENED AND THEN TURNED EAST TOWARD THE CITY OF LEAKESVILLE
PARALLELING HIGHWAY 57. THE TORNADO DAMAGED OR DESTROYED NUMEROUS
MOBILE HOMES...RESIDENCES...AND BUSINESSES IN LEAKESVILLE. ONE
FATALITY OCCURRED IN A DESTROYED MOBILE HOME. THE TORNADO CONTINUED
EAST NORTHEAST INTO EXTREME SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON COUNTY...AFFECTING
THE DEER PARK COMMUNITY. MOST OF THE DAMAGE WAS ALONG COUNTY ROAD 8
WHERE SEVERAL MOBILE HOMES WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. THREE
FATALITIES AND THREE INJURIES OCCURRED IN A DESTROYED MOBILE HOME.
THE TORNADO LIFTED JUST PRIOR TO REACHING HIGHWAY 45. EXTENSIVE TREE
DAMAGE WAS NOTED ALONG THE ENTIRE PATH.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: CENTRAL CHOCTAW COUNTY ALABAMA (RED SPRINGS AREA)
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-2 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 135 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 32.017N / -88.291W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 32.059N / -88.080W
* PATH LENGTH: 13 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 1000 YARDS
* NOTES: AN AERIAL SURVEY HAS REVEALED A 13 MILE TORNADO TRACK
ACROSS CENTRAL CHOCTAW COUNTY. THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN JUST
WEST OF HIGHWAY 17...SOUTHWEST OF RED SPRINGS. THE TORNADO
STRENGTHENED AS IT MOVED NORTHEAST INTO THE RED SPRINGS COMMUNITY...
DAMAGING OR DESTROYING SEVERAL MOBILE HOMES AND RESIDENCES. THE
AERIAL SURVEY SHOWS THE TORNADO TURNED EAST AS IT MOVED OUT OF RED
SPRINGS AND WIDENED TO A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 1000 YARDS...RESULTING IN
MAJOR TREE DAMAGE ALONG ITS PATH. GIVEN THE WIDENING OF THE
TORNADO...IT IS LIKELY THE TORNADO WAS STRONGER AT THIS STAGE THAN
IT WAS WHEN IT MOVED THROUGH RED SPRINGS. THANKFULLY...NO STRUCTURES
WERE IN THE PATH OF THE TORNADO EAST OF RED SPRINGS. THE AERIAL
SURVEY INDICATED THE TORNADO WAS BEGINNING TO WEAKEN AS IT
APPROACHED THE TOMBIGBEE RIVER BUT CONTINUED INTO WESTERN MARENGO
COUNTY.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: GAINESTOWN, ALABAMA (SOUTHERN CLARKE COUNTY)
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-2 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 130 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.480N / -87.685W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.481N / -87.682W
* PATH LENGTH: 0.2 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 120 YARDS
* INJURIES: 2 MINOR
* NOTES: ALL OF THE DAMAGE OCCURRED ON WALKABOUT ROAD. ONE SINGLE
WIDE MOBILE HOME WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED WITH ONE INDIVIDUAL
SUFFERING MINOR INJURIES. ANOTHER MINOR INJURY OCCURRED AS THE
TORNADO SHIFTED A DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOME THREE FEET OFF OF ITS
FOUNDATION AND PEELED OFF MOST OF ITS ROOF. ONE OTHER MOBILE HOME
AND SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE SUFFERED MINOR TO MODERATE ROOF DAMAGE.
NUMEROUS HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD TREES WERE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: TUNNEL SPRINGS/OLD TEXAS, ALABAMA (NE MONROE
COUNTY)

* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-3 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 145 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.633N / -87.245W
* ENDING LAT/LON:31.768N / -86.894W
* PATH LENGTH: 19 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 300 YARDS
* NOTES: AT LEAST TWO SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORMS TRACKED OVER THE SAME
AREA OF NORTHEAST MONROE COUNTY...PRODUCING TWO TORNADO TRACKS...ONE
OF WHICH OCCURRED IN THE EARLY EVENING. THIS FIRST TORNADO FIRST
TOUCHED ON ROBINSON CREEK ROAD JUST WEST OF HIGHWAY 47 IN TUNNEL
SPRINGS. EF-2 DAMAGE WAS NOTED AT THE AMITY MISSIONARY BAPTIST
CHURCH. A LARGE SECTION OF THE CHURCH ROOF WAS LIFTED OFF. THE
TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST PRODUCING SCATTERED TREE DAMAGE. THE
TORNADO INTENSIFIED AS IT HIT THE BETHLEHEM METHODIST CHURCH IN THE
OLD TEXAS COMMUNITY. THE CHURCH WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED WITH ONLY A
FEW INTERIOR WALLS LEFT STANDING. THIS DAMAGE WAS CONSISTENT WITH
EF-3 INTENSITY DAMAGE WITH WINDS NEAR 145 MPH. THE TORNADO THEN
WEAKENED AND LIFTED TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CHURCH. TREE DAMAGE AND
SHINGLE DAMAGE WAS NOTED PRIOR TO THE TORNADO LIFTING.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: RILEY CROSSINGS TO GREENVILLE AL (MONROE/BUTLER
COUNTIES)

* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-2 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 130 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.688N / -87.216W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.897N / -86.685W
* PATH LENGTH: 35 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 400-500 YARDS
* NOTES: A SECOND SUPERCELL PRODUCED A TORNADO DURING THE LATE
EVENING HOURS ACROSS NORTHEAST MONROE COUNTY. THE TORNADO FIRST
TOUCHED DOWN JUST WEST OF HIGHWAY 47...SOUTHWEST OF RILEY CROSSINGS.
IN RILEY CROSSINGS...THE SAVANNAH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH SUFFERED
SIGNIFICANT ROOF DAMAGE...LOSING THE STEEPLE AND MUCH OF THE ROOF
COVERING. TWO HOMES BEHIND THE CHURCH SUFFERED EXTENSIVE DAMAGE. ONE
BRICK HOME SUFFERED COMPLETE FAILURE OF THE ROOF AND WALLS OF THE
ATTACHED GARAGE. A CINDER BLOCK HOME LOST A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF
ITS SOUTH FACING ROOF. ALL OF THIS DAMAGE WAS OF EF-2 INTENSITY. THE
TORNADO CONTINUED ON TO THE NORTHEAST AND CROSSED PATHS WITH THE
EARLIER TORNADO NEAR THE BETHLEHEM CHURCH. THE TORNADO THEN ENTERED
NORTHWEST BUTLER COUNTY PRODUCING SCATTERED TREE DAMAGE ALONG THE
PATH. EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED FROM GROUND AND AERIAL SURVEYS
ALONG SHERLING LAKE DRIVE...INCLUDING THE SOUTHEASTERN PORTION OF
THE CAMBRIAN RIDGE GOLF COURSE AND SHERLING LAKE PARK CAMPGROUND.
THE TREE DAMAGE NOTED IN THESE LOCATION IS CONSISTENT WITH EF-1
INTENSITY.

&&

* EVENT LOCATION: FORREST HOME, ALABAMA (NW BUTLER COUNTY)
* STORM CLASSIFICATION: EF-0 INTENSITY TORNADO (MAX WINDS: 80 MPH)
* BEGINNING LAT/LON: 31.876N / -86.810W
* ENDING LAT/LON: 31.878N / -86.808W
* PATH LENGTH: 0.2 MILES
* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 100-150 YARDS
* NOTES: SPORADIC TREE DAMAGE WITH TREES UPROOTED. ALSO SOME MINOR
SHINGLE DAMAGE OBSERVED TO TWO HOMES OFF OF BROAD STREET.

&&

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOBILE WILL BE CONDUCTING ADDITIONAL
SURVEYS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE SURVEY TEAM PLANS TO VISIT THE
FOLLOWING DAMAGE AREAS:

* NORTHWEST CHOCTAW COUNTY (LISMAN AND MELVIN, AL)

FOR A GRAPHICAL DEPICTION OF THE TORNADO TRACKS VISIT THE NWS DAMAGE
SURVEY VIEWER WEBPAGE AT: HTTP://GISDEV.SRH.NOAA.GOV/STORMDAMAGE/
DAMAGEVIEWER

 

NWS Local Write-Ups and Webpages:
     NWS Jackson
     NWS Birmingham
     NWS Raleigh
     NWS Columbia
     NWS Atlanta
     NWS Norman
     NWS Wakefield
     NWS Greer
     NWS Wilmington

 

 


Acknowledgements: Page created by Jeffrey Medlin (Meteorologist In Charge). Page updated by Morgan Barry (forecaster) with assistance from Ryan Rogers (forecaster). 

LAST UPDATED: May 2017