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National Weather Service, Mobile-Pensacola

 

St Patrick's Day Tornado/Severe Outbreak
March 17, 2021
 

Summary of all Local Storm Reports (LSRs) on March 17-18, as well as all the LSRs across the region for this event (regional map may take a minute to load).

Storm survey teams preliminarily concluded that there were at least 3 tornadoes in our forecast area during the St. Patrick's Day event - two EF-2 tornadoes and one EF-1 tornado. One long-track tornado began in southeast Mississippi (Wayne County, MS) and travelled across parts of southeast Alabama (Choctaw and Clarke Counties in AL) before entering the forecast area served by the NWS in Birmingham, AL.

The data provided on this page are considered preliminary as we continue to analyze aerial footage provided to us via county EMA (helicopter/plane footage) and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (drone footage). We will add more information to this page and social media as it becomes available. We thank you in advance for your patience.

 


1st Wayne County, MS Tornado 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
746 PM CDT THU MAR 18 2021

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 3/17/21 WAYNE COUNTY MS TORNADO EVENT...

.OVERVIEW...NWS MOBILE HAS COMPLETED THE SURVEY FOR THE TORNADO EVENT
IN NORTHWEST WAYNE COUNTY MS. ADDITIONAL SURVEYS WILL BE CONDUCTED ON
FRIDAY IN WAYNE, CHOCTAW, CLARKE, AND CRENSHAW COUNTIES. 

.STRENGTHFORD MS TORNADO...

RATING:                 EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    130-135 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  13.1 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   325 YARDS
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               0

START DATE:             MAR 17 2021 
START TIME:             1203 PM CDT
START LOCATION:         STRENGTHFORD, MS
START LAT/LON:          31.6491 / -88.9066

END DATE:               MAR 17 2021
END TIME:               1222 PM CDT
END LOCATION:           10 MI NW WAYNESBORO, MS 
END LAT/LON:            31.7913 / -88.7595

SURVEY SUMMARY: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN JUST WEST OF 
PLEASANT GROVE STRENGTHFORD RD. THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST
AND QUICKLY STRENGTHENED AS IT MOVED ACROSS OVERSTREET AND BRAZE
OVERSTREET DR. AT BRAZE OVERSTREET DR, THE TORNADO IS ESTIMATED TO
HAVE REACHED EF-2 INTENSITY BASED ON THE SIGNIFICANT AND COMPLETE 
DAMAGE TO A LARGE AREA OF PINE TREES. THE TORNADO PERSISTED ON A 
NORTHEAST TRACK AND REACHED PEAK INTENSITY AS IT DESTROYED SEVERAL
LARGE, NEWER CHICKEN HOUSES ON JIM WEST ROAD JUST EAST OF STRENGTHFORD 
COOLEY RD. THE TORNADO CROSSED HIGHWAY 84 AND CONTINUED NORTHEAST, 
LIFTING NEAR WALLER RIDGE RD AND MABRY GRAHAM RD. BETWEEN HIGHWAY 84
AND THE LIFTING POINT, EF-1 INTENSITY DAMAGE WAS NOTED TO PRIMARILY 
TREES. A MOBILE HOME ON BEAT 4 SHUBUTA RD SUFFERED ROOF DAMAGE. 

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE 
FOLLOWING CATEGORIES.

EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
STORM DATA. 

 

The animation below shows the KMOB radar data of 0.4° Base Reflectivity on the left and Storm Relative Velocity on the right.

 

The photos below show the extent of some of the tree damage along the first half of the tornado path through Wayne County, MS.

     

 


 

Long Track MS/AL Tornado 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
1052 PM CDT FRI MAR 19 2021

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 3/17/21 LONG TRACK TORNADO EVENT...

.OVERVIEW...NWS SURVEY TEAM STARTED THE DAY AT THE WAYNE/CHOCTAW 
COUNTY LINE AND CONTINUED INTO SOUTHERN CHOCTAW AND NORTHWEST 
CLARKE COUNTY. IT WAS DETERMINED BASED ON A COMBINATION OF GROUND
AND AERIAL SURVEYS TO BE ONE LONG TRACK TORNADO. IT SHOULD BE NOTED
THAT A LARGE PORTION OF THE TORNADO TRACK WAS IN VERY HARD TO
REACH OR INACCESSIBLE AREAS. THEREFORE, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL
BE ANALYZED IN THE COMING DAYS AND INFORMATION BELOW WILL LIKELY
BE REFINED PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION IN STORM DATA. 

NWS MOBILE WOULD LIKE TO THANK WAYNE COUNTY EMA, CHOCTAW COUNTY
EMA, CLARKE COUNTY EMA, AND THE ALABAMA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
FOR THEIR TREMENDOUS HELP IN THIS SURVEY.

.WAYNE/CHOCTAW/CLARKE TORNADO...

RATING:                 EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    125-130 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  34.57 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   400 YARDS
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               2

START DATE:             MAR 17 2021 
START TIME:             344 PM CDT
START LOCATION:         9.5 MI E WAYNESBORO, MS
START LAT/LON:          31.6842 / -88.4855

END DATE:               MAR 17 2021
END TIME:               436 PM CDT
END LOCATION:           2.5 MI S PUTNAM AL
END LAT/LON:            31.9875 / -88.0241

SURVEY SUMMARY: THE TORNADO STARTED ON SUNLIGHT CHURCH ROAD IN WAYNE COUNTY
MS JUST WEST OF THE CHOCTAW COUNTY LINE. THE TORNADO MOVED INTO EXTREME 
SOUTHWEST CHOCTAW COUNTY AND PRODUCED HIGH END EF-1 INTENSITY DAMAGE ON
COUNTY ROAD 2 WHERE SEVERAL CHICKEN HOUSES WERE HEAVILY DAMAGED AND NUMEROUS
SOFTWOOD AND HARDWOOD TREES WERE DOWNED OR SNAPPED. THE TORNADO APPEARED TO 
LOSE INTENSITY AS IT HEADED NORTHEAST TOWARD SILAS, BUT STILL PRODUCED POCKETS
OF EF-1 INTENSITY DAMAGE ESPECIALLY IN THE SILAS AREA, IN THE GENERAL AREA
OF SILAS BRANCH. THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST AND PRODUCED SPOTTY, MAINLY
LIGHT TREE DAMAGE NORTH OF HIGHWAY 84 AND TOWARD WOMACK HILL. HOWEVER, THE
TORNADO QUICKLY STRENGTHENED AND WIDENED AS IT APPROACHED THE TOMBIGBEE RIVER
AND CROSSED INTO NORTHWEST CLARKE COUNTY. THE TORNADO PRODUCED SIGNIFICANT AND
EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO LARGE SWATHS OF TREES FROM THE TROTTER ROAD AREA RIGHT
ALONG THE RIVER, NORTHEAST TO CAMPBELL'S LANDING ROAD AND TO NEAR THE MARENGO
COUNTY LINE. BASED ON AERIAL FOOTAGE OF THE EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE, THE TORNADO
WAS GIVEN AN EF-2 INTENSITY RATING. A FEW RIVER CAMP HOUSES SUFFERED ROOF
DAMAGE. AN OLDER HOME ON CAMPBELL'S LANDING RD WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED AND TWO
PEOPLE IN THE HOME SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES. ADJACENT MODULAR HOMES SUFFERED
MINOR DAMAGE. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE PATH WIDTH OF THE TORNADO WAS GREATER
THAN 400 YARDS, BUT ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS IS NEEDED. 

THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST INTO MARENGO COUNTY. NWS BIRMINGHAM WILL
PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ON THAT SEGMENT OF THE TORNADO, WHICH WILL ADD
TO THE PATH LENGTH GIVEN IN THIS STATEMENT. 

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING 
CATEGORIES.

EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING
FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS STORM DATA. 

 

The animation below shows the KMOB radar data of 0.4° Base Reflectivity on the left and Storm Relative Velocity on the right.

 

The photos below were taken during the tornado survey through Choctaw County, AL, and show the extent of the damage along the first half of the path.

     

     

 

The photos below were taken during the tornado survey and show the extent of the damage along the Alabama River as the tornado crossed from Choctaw County into Clarke County, AL.

     

 

The photos below were taken during the tornado survey and show the extent of the damage further north in Clarke County, AL.

     

 

The next set of photos are the still shots from the drone footage provided by ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) along the tornado path in Clarke County, AL.

     

    

     

     

 

 


Crenshaw County, AL Tornado 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
538 PM CDT FRI MAR 19 2021

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 3/18/2021 CRENSHAW COUNTY AL TORNADO EVENT...

.BRANTLEY AL TORNADO ...

RATING:                 EF-1
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    94 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  0.52 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   150 YARDS
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               0

START DATE:             MAR 18 2021
START TIME:             408 AM CDT
START LOCATION:         1 MI NE BRANTLEY, AL
START LAT/LON:          31.592 / -86.2435

END DATE:               MAR 18 2021
END TIME:               410 AM CDT
END LOCATION:           1.5 MI NE BRANTLEY, AL
END LAT/LON:            31.5985 / -86.239

SURVEY SUMMARY: THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN AT THE CORNER OF
GLENWOOD RD AND NELVIN WALLACE RD WHERE IT SNAPPED AN AREA OF
SNAPPED TREES. THE TORNADO THEN CONTINUED NORTHEAST ACROSS NELVIN
WALLACE ROAD WHERE IT REACHED PEAK INTENSITY SNAPPING SEVERAL 
PINES, UPROOTING SEVERAL OAK TREES AND REMOVING THE ROOF OF AN OUT
BUILDING. EVENTUALLY THE TORNADO LIFTED JUST SOUTH OF N BRUNSON 
CHAPEL RD BUT NOT BEFORE SNAPPING A FEW MORE PINE TREES. THERE WAS
SOME KNOWN TREE DAMAGE THAT WAS INACCESSIBLE 4.5 MILES NORTHEAST  
OF THE TORNADO'S BEGINNING POINT, HOWEVER, THE DAMAGE PATH WAS 
DISCONTINUOUS FROM THE LAST KNOWN FINAL SURVEYED POINT (1.5 MI NE 
BRANTLEY, AL). BASED ON DOPPLER VELOCITY AND DUAL POL RADAR DATA 
AND ALSO WHAT WAS OBSERVED DURING THE SURVEY AFTER THE LAST KNOWN 
SURVEYED POINT, WE BELIEVE THE TORNADO HAD EITHER DISSIPATED OR 
WAS IN THE PROCESS OF DOING SO CONSIDERING THE INITIAL TORNADO TOUCHDOWN
POINT HAD A WIDTH OF 150 YARDS AND THE FINAL POINT A WIDTH OF AROUND
50 YARDS.

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES 
INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES.

EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH 
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH 
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
STORM DATA.

 


Additional Information

SPC Storm Report Archive

NWS Local Write-Ups and Webpages:
     NWS Birmingham

 


Acknowledgements: Page created by Morgan Barry (Forecaster) and Joe Maniscalco (Observation Program Leader).

LAST UPDATED: April 2021