National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Damaging Wind & Tornado in Bleckley County Georgia
May 1, 2003

by Lans Rothfusz

The National Weather Service Office in Peachtree City conducted a storm survey in eastern Bleckley County and found evidence of a severe microburst that spawned a brief F0 tornado. The [ map of Georgia highlighting location of Bleckley County ] microburst occurred two miles west of Goldsboro Georiga...between Highways 278 to the north and 26 to the south. Numerous trees on 278 were felled to the north...while trees one mile to the south of that location were felled to the south. The pattern of damage in the trees to the south along highway 26 was consistent with a small tornado.

A severe thunderstorm moved south across eastern Bleckley County between 5:30 and 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 1. There were numerous reports of downed trees and hail up to the size of quarters as this storm traversed the county. Several people saw a funnel develop in the town of Cary in northern Bleckley County. As the storm moved south, it is believed to have produced a microburst as it crossed Highway 278. The southward moving outflow from that microburst likely spawned or enhanced the F0 tornado which touched down briefly on Highway 26. Map depicting damage area is below.

The damage path of the tornado was 60 yards wide and 200 yards long. Several large trees were blown over, one falling on and completely destroying a shed. A 20-foot high, emptly water tank was also blown down. Minor damage occurred to a house and some outbuildings on the property. Damage indicated a rating on the Fujita Scale of F0. Minor damage occurred to the south of this area as the outflow from the microburst dissipated.

Examples of Damage in Bleckley County, Georgia
[ trees down ] [ water tank blown down ] [ outbuilding damaged ]

Maps courtesy Georgia Department of Community Affairs