National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Severe Thunderstorms of May 20, 2008
updated May 27, 2008
Large hail and/or wind damage in at least 35 counties...and 3 tornadoes
Photo pages...

Temperatures were well into the 80s and the air unstable when an approaching cold front set off thunderstorms during the afternoon of May 20, 2008. The storms were few in number at first, but by late in the afternoon a line of intense storms developed across the extreme northern counties. This line of storms marched south through much of North and Central Georgia during the evening. At least 35 counties reported large hail and/or wind damage. A wind gust of 61 miles an hour was recorded at the Thomaston airport in Upson County. At least three tornadoes were confirmed. The worst may have been the EF1 in Cherokee County. Governor Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency in Cherokee County as roughly 250 homes were damaged by the storm. Baldwin County was another that was hard hit as high winds knocked down well over 100 trees. Hail the size of softballs was reported in the Milledgeville area. The storms finally exited Central Georgia after midnight - only to cause more damage in South Georgia on the 21st.

Teams of meteorologists from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City surveyed the damage in Cherokee, Hancock, Washington and Baldwin counties.



Loop Of Radar Reflectivity...Surface Map...and Upper Air Sounding ( click images to enlarge )
[ Radar reflectivity loop as thunderstorms plowed through Georgia. ]
Radar reflectivity loop as thunderstorms
plowed through Georgia.
[ Surface map at 8 am EDT May 20, 2008. ]
Surface map at 8 am EDT May 20, 2008.
[ Sounding taken at 7am May 20, 2008. ]
Sounding taken at 7 am EDT May 20, 2008.

map showing those counties hit by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms on May 11, 2008Back to Home Page Cherokee County tornado Hancock and Washington County tornadoes Wind damage in Baldwin County