National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Event Summary

An upper-level low pressure system moved into the Ohio Valley on Friday morning, gradually devolving into an open wave by the evening hours as it shifted into the Central/Southern Appalachians. This storm system brought some stronger wind shear and jet energy into the Tennessee Valley, than what is typically observed for mid to late June in Alabama. Additionally, a very moist air mass was in place further south of this low pressure area, where a pre-frontal trough axis extended southwest into across portions of Middle Tennessee into Northwest Alabama. This moist, unstable air mas created an environment favorable for more intense, organized strong to severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds and a few isolated tornadoes.

Surface Analysis at 1 PM on June 22, 2018 Storm Reports From June,  22nd, 2018 (both rounds)

 

As heating occurred during the morning hours on Friday, instability values increased significantly by early afternoon, and strong to severe thunderstorms developed along near and ahead of this pre-frontal boundary (especially near and north of the AL/TN border). This thunderstorm activity produced damaging winds, small hail, and frequent lightning.  

Convective Outlook (SPC) issued at AM June,  22nd, 2017 Storm Reports prior to 6:20 PM on June 22, 2018

 

Later in the evening, the primary surface cold front sagged southeast temporarily into northern Alabama, before lifting back to the northwest late Friday evening. This feature served as a focus for severe thunderstorms, locally increased wind shear and helicity values.  These conditions, combined with a moderately unstable environment present, helped produce additional severe thunderstorms Friday evening and assisted in the process of tornadogenesis.  A strong EF-2 tornado was documented in Cullman County and an EF-1 tornado was documented in Jackson and DeKalb Counties. 

Surface Analysis at 7 PM on June 22, 2018 Storm Reports after 6:20 PM on June 22, 2018


Jones Chapel
Cullman County, AL 

Date June 22, 2018
Start Time (Local) 6:50 PM CDT
End Time (Local) 7:12 PM CDT
Start Location 9 West Point
End Location 4 WNW West Point
Start Lat./Long. 34.2482,-87.1101
End Lat./Long. 34.25, -87.0136
EF Rating EF-2
Est. Peak Winds 130 mph
Path Length 5.56 miles
Max Width 180 yards
Injuries/Deaths 3/0

Summary:

A NWS survey team was able to confirm the tornado that originated in Winston County continued into Cullman County. Damage was consistent with an EF-2 tornado with peak winds of 130 mph near Jones Chapel.

As the tornado crossed into Cullman County, the vortex likely lifted shortly after crossing CR 1069 after producing minor limb damage. The tornado likely touched down again west of the CR 1055 and CR 1082 intersection. Extensive tree damage was observed. Numerous trees were either uprooted or snapped as the tornado tracked through a depression on the north side of CR 1055. Intensity was documented as 90 mph (EF-1) as it approached CR 1082. At this point, the tornado likely lifted again as it moved east of CR 1082 with only minor limb damage observed through Sullivan Creek.

Peak intensity of the tornado was observed along CR 1091, west of CR 1114. A one year old manufactured home was completely destroyed as it broke away from its anchors, causing 3 injuries. The home was perpendicular to the winds, facing due west. It was displaced about 20 yards from its original location. Three of four corner anchor units were ripped from the ground. The forth remained lodged in ground but the metal strap was ripped from the I-Beam. It is worth noting that the anchors were approximately 2-3 feet into the ground, and were strapped to the I-Beam (from what could be observed). However, given the highly saturated, muddy soil, the anchors were pulled out as the home tipped backwards. Given this potential failure, winds were estimated at 130 mph, or slightly above the expected value for a completely destroyed manufactured home. Additionally, near this location, several trees were uprooted. Peak width of approximately 180 yards were also documented in this area.

As the tornado tracked east, another area of downed branches and uprooted trees were noted east of CR 1107. This was the final location of observed damage as the tornado likely lifted and eventually dissipated along CR 1114.

       

Track Map

                   Track Map

 

Higdon, AL
Jackson/Dekalb County, AL 

Date June 22, 2018
Start Time (Local) 6:25 PM CST
End Time (Local) 6:30 PM CDT
Start Location 1 NE of Higdon
End Location 2 E of Higdon
Start Lat./Long. 34.8513,-85.6197
End Lat./Long. 34.8479, -85.5898
EF Rating EF-1
Est. Peak Winds 90 mph
Path Length 1.7 miles
Max Width 250 yards
Injuries/Deaths 0/0

Summary:  

The tornado touched down just west of AL Highway 71, about 1 mile northeast of Higdon, AL where a tree was snapped off at the top along with other very large branches broken off on the property. It then tracked east and on County Road 292 it uprooted a large tree that fell on a truck and a house. Another small uprooted tree was noted in the area as well. The tornado continued east and as it crossed County Road 269 a small clearing in the trees was noted along with a large tree split at the base. A house on County Road 169 had the most damage with three very healthy trees cleaning snapped off at the exact same height. Other trees on the property were snapped near the base as well as multiple very large limbs down. The snapped trees is what warranted the 90 MPH designation. This is where the tornado was at the widest with other snapped trees noted along County Road 169. The last of the damage was found on County Road 817 with a metal roof from a house peeled off and thrown behind the house. A snapped tree was seen behind the house as well.

 

      Track Map

                    Track Map

 

Upper Air Charts

 

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500mb Chart at 7am June 22nd

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700mb Chart at 7am June 22nd

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850mb Chart at 7am June 22nd

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500mb Chart at 7pm June 22nd

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700mb Chart at 7pm June 22nd

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850mb Chart at 7pm June 22nd

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SPC Outlooks

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Day 1 Outlook
Issued 5:59 am June 22nd

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Day 2 Outlook
Issued 12:31 pm June 21st

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Day 3 Outlook
Issued 2:29 am June 20th

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Day 1 Tornado Probability
Issued 5:59 am June 22nd

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Day 1 Wind Probability
Issued 5:59 am June 22nd

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Day 1 Hail Probability
Issued 5:59 am June 22nd

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