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Discussion of April 27, 2011 Outbreak (1 Viewer)

andyhb

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Out of curiosity, do you know why the Cullman tornado changed its appearance so much; many times it went invisible (or at least parts of it did), was it constantly transitioning or something to that effect?
More or less yes, vortex breakdown can often lead to this type of appearance.
 

akt1985

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I encourage people to watch or listen to this past week's Weatherbrains episode about how the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, affected eastern Tennessee, north Georgia, and southwest Virginia. It was chilling hearing Paul Bayrs at WRCB compare the catastrophic tornado damage in the Chattanooga DMA to what that area experienced in the aftermath of the Civil War.
 
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Kind of ironic that there will be a severe weather threat in the South on or the day after the 10th anniversary, although I suppose not that unexpected since 'tis the season.

I can't help but wonder if all the posts about this day in "Significant Tornado Events" ought to be moved to this thread.
 
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Kind of ironic that there will be a severe weather threat in the South on or the day after the 10th anniversary, although I suppose not that unexpected since 'tis the season.

I can't help but wonder if all the posts about this day in "Significant Tornado Events" ought to be moved to this thread.
Same here, the "Significant" thread is nearly to 200 pages and many of them are repeats of previous postings, it might get too bloated.
 
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I found some photos from the area of northeastern Walker County, where Cordova appears to have hit peak intensity. In this area it completely leveled a site-built home and obliterated two nearby mobile homes. One of the mobile home undercarriages was tossed at least 500 yards. A 5-ton bulldozer was flipped over, a pickup truck was tossed 200 yards, and a dump truck was tossed 50 yards and destroyed. A two-ton trailer was thrown 1 mile and left a 2.5-foot deep crater where it impacted the ground. Two double-wide mobile homes were tossed at least 100 yards, and a third mobile home was tossed 100 yards up a 50 foot embankment and destroyed along this segment of the path as well. I wish I could find more photographs of these impressive feats of damage. I think they used to be available on the old NWS page of this, but after they moved their site it seems they lost lots of 4/27/11 damage survey photographs. So frustratring.

Some of the few photographs available from this area of the path.

Presumably the 5-ton bulldozer that was flipped over, not sure it was placed right side up before the survey or what, not entirely sure what happened here.

Cordova_1.jpg

Not quite sure what I'm looking at here, ground scouring, a site where a mobile home used to be? There does appear to be tree damage and possible grass or soil scouring in the background, again not entirely sure.
Cordova_2.jpg

Some sort of vehicle damage. Looks like the dump truck mentioned in the survey that was thrown and destroyed, looks like it's cab was torn off or something to that effect.

Cordova_3.jpg


Only for sure photograph I've been able to find of the 2-ton utility trailer and its "impact crater" (perhaps just a deep indenture in the soil? Again, not sure). It looks like it was removed from the soil and being propped up by the damage surveyors, really wish I could find a better photograph than this one, which appears to be a hastily-taken cell phone picture.

Cordova_4.jpg



Link: https://www.weather.gov/bmx/event_04272011gis

Scroll down to the section entitled Interactive Map - Tornado Paths and Survey Points
 

Austin Dawg

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This feels like an appropriate place for this article.


Good article. I'm glad they mentioned how different it looked because trees and landmarks that had been there for decades were simply gone. I didn't make it back into town until a couple or years later. When I drove in I didn't see anything I remembered. Houses, giant oak trees, nothing... It was as if you took a razor blade and scraped the tiny town off the map. I got to the railroad tracks on Hwy 25 in the middle of town and suddenly realized where I was. I was so moved I had to pull to the side of the road and get myself together.

smithvillebeforeafter.JPG

My brother did not rebuild and sold his property to the city and they built the memorial at his old home site.

IMG_0652final.jpg

It's incredible what they have done since that day. They have a brand new school and their student score very high on the tests they use to measure learning and the school rates highly overall They built a new gymnasium that serves as a tornado shelter for the town. My Mom has used it a couple of times. The county has buit two more in Hatley and Hamilton.

Monolithic Domes

Ironically, Hamilton had an F3 in 4-13-19

Hamilton 4-13-19

and Hatley had an F1 on 3-31-2021

Hatley 3-31-21



Seems like old home county is another hot spot for tornadoes. Here is another article that has been posted today

Smithville Remembers - WTVA View attachment 9312
 

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Bama Ravens

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I would encourage everyone to go listen to tonight’s episode of WeatherBrains (Spann’s podcast). They reflect on the event with lots of big names from that day, including the Meteorologists-in-charge at the NWS offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Jacksonville. I never appreciated how deeply this event impacted the NWS folks until I heard this tonight. Some of them suffered serious mental health struggles after 4/27/11.

 

KoD

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I would encourage everyone to go listen to tonight’s episode of WeatherBrains (Spann’s podcast). They reflect on the event with lots of big names from that day, including the Meteorologists-in-charge at the NWS offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Jacksonville. I never appreciated how deeply this event impacted the NWS folks until I heard this tonight. Some of them suffered serious mental health struggles after 4/27/11.

Thanks for sharing this.

I moved to Alabama in December 2010 so 2011 was my first year living in the southeast. I didn't realize at the time how unique of a situation Spring 2011 was so I thought I had made a terrible mistake coming to Huntsville instead of going to Pennsylvania.
 

Lori

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I’m dreading this tenth anniversary of the April 27, 2011 Outbreak! I pray I never see an outbreak like that again in my lifetime! I didn’t go through anything other than knowing it was possible for all hell to break loose on that Wednesday and by the 1-2 days before there was so much confidence it would and did.

“When you have a day like tomorrow (Apr. 27), it's entirely possible to do all the right things -- go to the safe places, get in your basement, do everything right -- and still be injured or possibly even killed," said FOX6 Chief Meteorologist J-P Dice during a Tuesday afternoon interview session.
 

Bama Ravens

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Well, ten years ago right now the rather more significant than expected overnight MCS was racing through Mississippi... stuff was about to go very downhill
And about this time Alabama had just been slammed, hundreds of thousands of people had no power, five people in AL were dead, and the big event was yet to come.
 

Argus

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I experienced April 27th a little differently than everyone else. I experienced it


I had to come in early to watch the weather. I think about 6am, I was already at my station, watching Jason Simpson and James Spann online, tracking the MCS. I wondered if I was heading on the 7:30 AM Elberton run, with very important people. I hoped that I did not get the call from the boss to go. I wanted to watch Spann and be here on the forum. I remember hearing it was worse than Hurricane Opal.

For me, April 27 would have affected me a lot more than it did, if the MCS had stayed together into Georgia. Those were the closest moments that I experienced that day. I didn't know if I would have to pack my laptop and leave the office I didn't know if I was gonna have to watch weather in Athens. I was afraid that I would have to argue against going places, knowing my job would probably end. That was one of my biggest fears that morning. The MCS headed north and dissipated before it could get here. The weather was actually nice here all day.



With the weather staying benign and nice here, I was able to focus on other things. However, I couldn't leave the office. I was very busy. If we had a weather situation, I might have to literally drop stuff and do what I needed to do. Would it be riding to the dollar store? Would it be riding to lunch? Would it be getting everyone into a storm shelter? Other than that, I was waiting for the first supercells to fire up. I think the biggest complaint was that one of the staff's dogs had done her business not where she was supposed to bed. I had to help the supervisor make arrangements for a trip to Birmingham we were taking the following Monday.

From then on, it was watching Spann and the devastating tornadoes. I think we were all in panic mode about 7pm EDT when the tornado was near Birmingham. Debris was falling over Birmingham. It was a shocking scene to watch.

You wouldn't have known it if you had stepped outside here. It was getting overcast, but still good weather. I worked no weather issues here.

Overnight, I couldn't sleep. I had the laptop and watched the storms. I was anxious to see if we would be in the polygon. We were never affected. It stormed, but no tornado troubles.

The next morning, the weather was good. The storm was gone, and we were watching the aftermath. When we headed to Birmingham on Monday, we found a hotel room shortage existed due to the power repair crews in the areaa. We got a hotel in Birmingham. We were blessed that the tornado was not much worse than it was. We didn't see much damage where we were.

2011 provided a few more challenges for me. I learned that June (especially in odd numbered years) is a wild month for weather here. However, the toughest weather year for me actually was 2013. We had more weather challenges that year than in any preceding year. I even had considered quitting this post. I was feeling the pressure. I stayed and I am happy that I did. Yet we accomplished something grand that season that benefited others, and we do celebrate that.

I'm not a religious person much, but Brittany and I do watch Hillside's services and have returned to attending local services. Do I feel like God spared a lot that day? I think so. He spared my job that day. God had a purpose for me. I feel blessed that it was not a lot worse
 

Equus

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I went through my old photo stash and put up an article on what I saw from the house on 4/27 and some of the aftermath elsewhere a couple weeks later.

 

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