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Discussion of April 27, 2011 Outbreak (3 Viewers)

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St. Catharines, Ontario
Philadelphia, MS EF5 tornado videos in rough chronological order:

At around the 1:45 mark in this video the incredible speed of the tornado is easy to see....



^Tornado would have been at EF5 strength around the time of this video.


I still think this tornado was a very strong contender for the title of most violent ever recorded. The ground scouring it left was just insane and by far the deepest ever recorded...Just to compare, the Bridge Creek tornado scoured 8 inches of topsoil, the Smithville tornado scoured 12 inches, the Jarrell tornado scoured 18 inches, and the Philadelphia tornado scoured 24 inches. It's even more impressive considering both it and the Smithville tornado caused that level of ground scouring while roaring along at nearly 70 mph (possibly slightly above in the case of Smithville).
 

South AL Wx

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Around this time 6 years ago is when the Cullman tornado was occurring live on the ABC 33/40 SkyCam. I was at work and couldn't watch it live, but was following the thread on Talkweather at that time.
 
At this point, I remember being outside looking at the damage on my street in Ross Bridge. One of my chimneys lost a cap and my screened porch had some damage. While checking all of that out, I was amazed at how quickly skies were clearing as the sun was rising. It really started to hit me what we were in for later. I remember a neighbor seeing me and asking what my thoughts were for the rest of the day, I just replied that I was very concerned about what is coming. A few days later she saw me and said that she could see it in my face and knew something big about to happen.
Yep, I was in the 10th grade and for some reason despite all of the damage they made us go to school, only to release us at like 11:00am. Back to the point, I remember looking out the window of my first class around 8-8:30am and seeing the sun already shining brightly. At that point, I knew that everything was still in place for the afternoon event and our fears were going to be realized.

This was the Meteorologist-in-Charge at BMX (now retired), Jim Stefkovich, on a Birmingham radio show that morning after the first round but before the second. Worth the listen, it is extremely eerie how spot on he was.

 

South AL Wx

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This was the Meteorologist-in-Charge at BMX (now retired), Jim Stefkovich, on a Birmingham radio show that morning after the first round but before the second. Worth the listen, it is extremely eerie how spot on he was.

Slightly off-topic, but it appears that Jim Stefkovich is doing some work for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency now. I'm sure that will be great for the state EMA! From Facebook:

Jim Stefkovich has joined Alabama EMA as part of the response team. With an in-house meteorologist, preparation and activation for severe weather can be performed more efficiently.
 
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Jason Simpson, 6 years ago: "Look at that. The funnel is getting tighter."
James Spann: I see it. Ok. Again...(gestures to funnel on chroma key wall)
Simpson: Let's get-let's get tighter in on that thing. I'm going to take the higher compression off so we can move faster-that's a tornado on, that's got to be on the ground, look at that.
Spann: We got a tornado down. This is a tornado emergency for the city of Cullman.
Simpson: I think, west Cullman, you are in most danger of this. Look, I can see the debris cloud at the bottom of it. That is west of downtown Cullman right now, so if you are in (mic cuts out) the northwest edge of Good Hope or in Cullman you need to be in a safe place immediately, we have a tornado live on the skycam.
Spann: Alright. Again, this is a tornado emergency for the city of Cullman at 2:46.
 
Messages
477
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St. Catharines, Ontario
Around this time 6 years ago is when the Cullman tornado was occurring live on the ABC 33/40 SkyCam. I was at work and couldn't watch it live, but was following the thread on Talkweather at that time.
Even though it was fairly small, the Cullman tornado was a beast. Just the raw number of buildings (houses, office buildings, stores, churches) that were flattened makes it stand out...It obviously wasn't close to EF5 strength, but I don't think the "low-end EF4" rating is really appropriate either.
 
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Madison, WI
It expanded significantly and intensified after it passed through Cullman. Some of the damage north of Fairview and especially north of Arab (where all the fatalities with this tornado occurred, if I remember correctly) may have been borderline EF5. Pretty sure I've read reports of at least one bolted home nearly slabbed in that area.

I believe the last few seconds of ABC 33/40's skycam footage before power was cut shows the beginning of this process.
 

South AL Wx

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From the April 27 real-time thread... Hackleburg, Phil Campbell tornado

308_3ba79d945810a0d42df4393cbaf1a603.png
 
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From the April 27 real-time thread... Hackleburg, Phil Campbell tornado
308_3ba79d945810a0d42df4393cbaf1a603.png

Hackleburg may be neck in neck with Smithville and Philadelphia as the most violent tornado of the day...but just in terms of its scale and devastation it wins hands down. It was basically a repeat of the Tri-State Tornado...a massive, dark wedge which wasn't very visible and not especially recognizable as a tornado at times, was on the ground for around three hours, and had a terrifyingly high fatality to injury rate (just under 50%). Definitely the most terrifying and destructive tornado of the day which left behind maybe the most tragic loss of life. If I remember correctly many of the lives lost were children under 12.
 

Bamamuscle

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Has any other station besides ABC 33/40 uploaded their long form coverage from 4/27? I'd be especially interested to see at what point did the Huntsville stations lose power. If I remember correctly it was 5pm?


Sent from my iPhone using TalkWeather
 

Mike S

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Has any other station besides ABC 33/40 uploaded their long form coverage from 4/27? I'd be especially interested to see at what point did the Huntsville stations lose power. If I remember correctly it was 5pm?


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This is from WAFF's coverage. They caught the tornado as it headed for their camera and radar.

 

Blizzzzznado

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Cartersville, GA
As the archive is going, just brings back the emotion of that day. I remember seeing the video on YouTube that day where the guy got extremely close to the monster in Tuscaloosa. As it came into Georgia, it looked like for a moment it was coming directly at us. As it got closer, I could tell it was going north. I just remember how scary the idea of being in the direct path of a tornado that strong was, as I can only imagine how terrifying it was for those who were.

 

Chris3024

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Cullman, AL
Yeah. The live thread is surreal. It brings back tons of emotions. I'm reading What Stands in a Storm today also, so it's making it even more emotionally charged.
 

MichelleH

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Hanceville, AL
Slightly off-topic, but it appears that Jim Stefkovich is doing some work for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency now. I'm sure that will be great for the state EMA! From Facebook:

Jim Stefkovich has joined Alabama EMA as part of the response team. With an in-house meteorologist, preparation and activation for severe weather can be performed more efficiently.


Great to hear! Jim is a wonderful guy!
 

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