National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

White Plains Tornado...March 6, 2003

Alabama's second tornado of 2003 touched down in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 6, and affected portions of Eastern Calhoun and Western Cleburne Counties. No deaths and only minor injuries were reported with this tornado.

The tornado first touched down in the White Plains community of Calhoun County, just west of the intersection of SR-9 and Cottaquilla Rd. Damage at this location was light and scattered, consisting mainly of downed trees and damaged roofs. From there, the tornado travelled east-northeast across SR-9 and County Road 55, where it caused considerable damage to greenhouses at a nursery business, as well as chicken houses and other farm structures.

The tornado then moved through mainly open country for about a mile and a half, continuing to uproot trees, before destroying a mobile home on Chinch Creek Road. From there, the tornado moved eastward into a wooded area of Cleburne County, across Rattlesnake Mountain, causing sporadic tree damage until it lifted about a half mile east of the Shoal Creek Picnic area.

The tornado was rated an F1, mainly based on the amount of damage done to the mobile home on Chinch Creek Road. The tornado path length was about 8.9 miles. The average damage path width directly associated with the tornado was 100-200 yards, although peripheral damage occurred up to a half mile south of center of the tornado's path. The tornado began around 2:48 am, crossed into Cleburne County around 2:51 am, and ended at approximately 2:57 am.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Calhoun County at 2:21 am valid until 3:00 am. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Cleburne County at 2:50 am, valid until 3:30 am.