26 April 2010
High Risk- The Day After
Posted by Dan Satterfield
The last several posts have been about the high risk of tornadoes over the Southeastern United States on Saturday.
You probably have already heard of the tornado that hit Yazoo City in Mississippi . It left 10 dead and horrible damage.
Later Saturday night, the tornadoes dropped again from new thunderstorms. These were much closer to home. We were on the air many hours as the storms moved across North Alabama into NW Georgia.
There were three EF 3 tornadoes across North Alabama. Storm survey teams from the national Weather Service in Huntsville estimated the winds were at around 140 mph.
The twister that hit Albertville was at one point over 1 km wide!
The Albertville Tornado was on the ground for nearly 30 km. It caused major damage in Albertville, and in the Dekalb County town of Geraldine.
I know a lot of people have had their lives turned upside down by these storms. There were 30+ injuries, but thankfully no deaths!
I cannot begin to tell you how happy that makes those of us who forecast them. I include those of us on TV and the meteorologists who work for NOAA.
DEAR DAN, I AM VERY DISSAPOINTED IN YOU LEAVING THE BROADCAST FOR THE RECENT TORNADOS THAT HIT NEAR MY HOME, I LIVE I DOUGLAS ALABAMA AND HAVE WATCHED YOU ON CH 19 FAITHFULLY, HOWEVER WAS VERY ANGRY WHEN YOU DECIDED THAT WE WHO LIVE IN THE HORTON, DOUGLAS, ALBERTVILLE AREA ARE NOT I YOUR VIEWING Area, HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT WE WHO HAVE WATCHED YOUR WEATHER FORCAST FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS, AND HAVE RELIED ON YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE IN WEATHER REPORTING, TELL US THAT WE MEAN NOTHING TO YOU, AND YOU DIDNT CARE THAT WE WERE UNAWARE OF THE INIMENT DANGER THAT WAS APPROACHING OUR AREA! I AM VERY DISSAPOINTED IN YOU, AND WILL NOT BE VIEWING CHANNEL 19 ANY LONGER.
I did go back and look at the tape today. I told people in Albertville to take cover between 10:14 and 10:15. The tornado hit about 8 minutes later.
It’s important to understand that the storm did not produce damage in Blount County and there was no warning on it. We were watching it closely and so was thew NWS office here in Huntsville and in B’ham. There was no way to know it was about to spin up a tornado.
As soon as the rotation increased a warning was issued.
If there were no tornado from the storm, we would likely have had many complaints about interrupting programming for a storm not in our coverage area. It’s a fine line to walk.
There were three tornado touch downs in the viewing area on Saturday night and there was at least 7 minutes warning for all of them. As much as 18 minutes in some cases including the EF4 in Mount Vernon.
Dan, I appreciate the many hours you and WHNT’s weather team put in last Saturday during the devastating severe storm outbreak! Several of the close competitors were off the air during some of the significant times of weather coverage last Saturday evening, but WHNT-19 stuck with the storms all the way up to the end. Thanks for your help and caring personality for this area.