National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Pertinent Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data
from the November 16, 2011 Severe Weather Event

November 16, 2011 Event Overview

Currently on an experimental basis, the National Weather Service in Birmingham will be offering GIS data from storm surveys following severe weather events that unfold across central Alabama.  These data offer survey information from tornado tracks that are found by damage assessment teams in the field.  The links below contain information for all 4 tornadoes that have been surveyed across the State of Alabama that formed on November 16, 2011.  Most information was produced and extracted from the National Weather Service Damage Survey Interface, which has been developed by National Weather Service Meteorologists to modernize storm survey information into a geospatial format for the general public and GIS analysts.  The information can be passed along to decision makers and the emergency management community after storm surveys have been completed.  The Damage Survey Interface will continue to be devloped and improved, and hopefully implemented throughout the agency.

ESRI Shapefiles:       

All Tornado Paths - (Posted 11/20/11) Zipped folder contains polygon shapefiles of individual tornado tracks and estimated damage swaths, as well as an all inclusive shapefile that has all path information merged together.  Shapefile projections are in Universal Transverse Mercator Zone 16N.

All Survey Points(Posted 11/20/11) Zipped folder contains point shapefile locations within specific tornado paths that include detailed survey information gathered from assessment teams in the field.  The attribute information includes:  Event Date, Survey Date, Damage Indicator, Degree of Damage, EF-Rating at the point location, Wind Speed, Comments from the survey team regarding specific damage information, and the Tornado associated with the survey point. Shapefile projections are in Universal Transverse Mercator Zone 16N.

Attention GIS Analysts Using ArcGISPlease view the metadata within ArcCatalog to view a complete description of shapefile information.

 Google Earth KMZ Files:     

Tornado Survey Information KMZ (Posted 11/20/11) Google Earth KMZ contains all the detailed storm survey information gathered for the 4 tornadoes in the Birmingham County Warning Area.  In select locations, damage photographs taken by assessment teams can also be viewed.  Be advised that this information is still deemed as experimental.  The information was extracted from the National Weather Service Damage Survey Interface.


Interactive Map - Tornado Paths and Survey Points:

The map below presents an interactive view of tornado paths and survey locations collected by damage assessment teams in the field.  Many of these same points can be downloaded using the links for the Paths and Survey Point Shapefiles above.  To see information from the survey points, zoom in to the specific point of interest and click on the point.  A pop-up box will appear with specific survey information.  Damage photographs, if they are available, can be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of the pop-up.  Click on a damage photo to enlarge on a separate tab.  If several features appear within a close proximity to one another, look for the "Next Feature" button (>) on the top right of the pop-up to view each feature.  To zoom in and out, use your mouse wheel or use the plus and minus buttons in the top left corner of the map. Once again, these data are experimental and preliminary.  The map below can also be viewed on by searching "Tornado" and clicking on the November 16, 2011 Tornado Map description.

View Larger Map


Event Map:

4 tornadoes have been confirmed from November 16th.  By clicking on the tornado names below, you will be taken to detailed survey information regarding the tornado of interest.