National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Storm Report


Line of Severe Thunderstorms Plows Across North Georgia
February 16, 2001

by Von Woods, Gary Beeley and Robert Beasley

On Friday, February 16, 2001 a line of severe thunderstorms plowed through the northern part of Georgia. Many trees were felled as the storms raced eastward at speeds of 60 to 70 miles an hour. Fortunately there were no deaths. Only 4 injuries were reported.

Map of most significant damage: Radar loop

Event evolution...

Thunderstorms "flew" across Georgia late Friday afternoon and evening. Individual storms moved with speeds as high as 60 ot 70 mph. The thunderstorms were in the form of a line that preceded a cold front that entered northwest Georgia early Friday night, and exited off the coast Saturday morning.

Measured Wind Gusts
Rome 52 mph
Marietta 77 mph
Mableton 63 mph
Gainesville 44 mph
Athens 49 mph
The stage was set for the storms as unseasonably warm and moist air overspread the state at mid-week. The associated heat and moisture provided a good portion of what was needed for the storms to form. The other ingredients were provided by an upper level disturbance that was accompanied by a strong jet stream.

The line of storms entered northwest Georgia around 5:15 pm EST. At times "bows" and "bulges" formed on the line, indicative of strong outflows of winds. As one of the bows moved across the Birmingham, Alabama airport, winds gusted to near 70 mph and overturned several small airplanes. As the line moved across north Georgia, reports of estimated gusts to near 70 mph continued.

The highest officially recorded wind speed was near 80 mph at Dobbins AFB in Cobb county. Most of the damage reported with the storms was wind- related in the form of downed trees and power lines.

There were only four reported injuries. These were from glass being blown out of a building.

The only reports of large hail were in Clayton, Paulding and Cobb counties. The largest reported hail was roughly the size of a quarter in Paulding county.

The line of storms reached the border of South Carolina around 8 pm EST. The portion of the line that remained in Georgia began weakening about that time. No significant wind damage was reported after 8 pm.

If you have photos of this storm or the damage it produced and would like to seem them posted here, please contact us.