December 22 HSLC Event in FFC’s CWA

On Thursday, December 22, a significant HSLC event across our CWA resulted in six tornadoes.  I know this is a month late, but better late than never!  (Plus, this is my first blog post so please forgive me as I learn.)

  • 1 EF3
  • 1 EF2
  • 2 EF1s
  • 2 EF0s

Our public webpage writeup, complete with maps of the damage path, can be found here.

Steve Nelson spent quite a bit of time gathering images, which I have included here.  One storm produced the EF2, EF3, and an EF0 up in NW GA.  Steve and I surveyed that storm and the damage was indeed impressive – we weren’t expecting to end up with an EF2, much less an EF3! 

Here are loops of the reflectivity and SRM from that storm (click to loop).  Sorry for not outlining the counties better.  Notice the break in Z where the tornadoes developed (near the bottom left portion of the screen, with tornado direction of travel to the top right portion).

We got some interesting dual-pol images (TDS) with the tornadoes that were near the KFFC radar.  Fayette County (where we are located) had two tornadoes that day, and Coweta County (the county due west of Fayette) had one.  These are great signatures despite being weak tornadoes!  The images for CC for the two Fayette County tornadoes are with the wrong color curve on GR Analyst, so please bear that in mind. 

Northern Fayette tornado (click on the images to loop):

Southern Fayette tornado (click on the images to loop):

Coweta tornado (no loops):

(Note the path is shown with the white line just west of the town of Moreland, and as shown in the CC images, debris was lofted and carried quite some distance)

2244Z, 0.5 degrees:

2244Z, 0.9 degrees:

2249Z, 0.9 degrees (two CC images included, one is zoomed in):

2249Z, 1.3-3.1 degrees CC (note two images, one zoomed, at 1.3 degrees:

2249Z, 3.1 degrees:

2254Z, 0.9-1.3 degrees CC (zoomed at 1.3 degrees):

On January 21, we again saw a TDS for a nearby storm – also in Coweta County, also very near the town of Moreland – it will be surveyed later today, 1/24. 

We, like other CSTAR offices, have seen this more often than we would like in our CWA: HSLC/QLCS tornadoes are not always “weak” and/or “short-lived” events.  Our office will continue to issue TORs for signatures like these!

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One Response to December 22 HSLC Event in FFC’s CWA

  1. Steve Keighton says:

    Good stuff Trisha. It appears (though correct me if I’m wrong) that most of these are at relatively close range to the radar. Obviously for those tornadoes in these kinds of enviroments that develop at appreciable distance from any radar, we have an enormous challenge. I wonder if, as part of the radar component of this CSTAR project, if we will have enough cases of tornadoes both at close and far ranges from the radar (however we define that) so we can look for some clues in the evolution of features well above the tight circulation for the closer range storms (maybe it’s something in reflectivity) and then use that to give us a better chance for those storms at farther ranges.

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