National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


November 10, 2002...Veterans Day Tornado Outbreak
Map of November 10, 2002, Tornado Outbreak
Several ingredients, including:
  • a warm and unstable airmass,
  • wind shear in the low levels
  • strong upper level winds
  • and a cold front pushing into the state

...combined to bring severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to a large portion of North and Central Alabama Sunday night and early Monday morning. Several destructive tornadoes in the north half of the state caused widespread damage and numerous fatalities and injuries.


Meteorologists from the National Weather Service conducted extensive on-site surveys of the destruction caused by the tornadoes. While the initial estimate was 12 to 15 tornadoes, we now believe that 11 tornadoes actually occurred. The tornado count was reduced primarily because of the long track nature of two of the most intense storms.

The following table contains the essential information on each of the tornadoes, presented chronologically. The tornado names link to separate pages with details concerning each tornado, including damage path maps and photos.

Tornado Name Counties Affected F-rating Begin Time (CST) End Time (CST) Length (miles) Width (yards) Deaths Injuries
Carbon Hill Tornado Fayette-Walker-Winston F-3 6:52 pm 7:45 pm 44.3 1175 4 10
Fernbank Tornado * Lamar F-2 7:31 pm 7:42 pm 7.2 150 0 2
Stafford Tornado * Pickens F-1 7:42 pm 7:48 pm 4.5 75 0 0
Saragossa Tornado Fayette-Walker-Winston-Cullman F-3 8:15 pm 9:52 pm 72.6 1100 7 45
Boley Springs Tornado Fayette F-1 9:10 pm 9:15 pm 4.3 90 0 0
Dora Tornado Walker F-1 9:38 pm 9:47 pm 4.3 300 0 ukn
Oneonta Tornado Blount F-1 10:22 pm 10:32 pm 10.6 300 0 0
Abernant Tornado Tuscaloosa-Jefferson F-2 10:22 pm 10:43 pm 15.2 450 0 3
Chandler Mountain Tornado St. Clair F-1 10:41 pm 10:44 pm 3.2 50 0 0
Centre Tornado Cherokee F-2 11:23 pm 11:35 pm 10.5 440 1 4

* Note: All details here for the Fernbank and Stafford Tornadoes represent those for their Alabama portions only. Also a third tornado crossed from Mississippi into Alabama (PIckens County) west-southwest of Ethelsville. The tornado dissipated quickly after entering Alabama and caused damage only to a few trees.

In addition to these tornadoes, significant straight line wind damage was also reported in Autauga County.

Additional data can be found here.