NWS confirms 10 tornadoes from March 25 outbreak

Tornado paths show nearly 20 counties impacted
Ohatchee storm damage
Ohatchee storm damage(Brian Emfinger)
Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 1:24 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - After days of conducting storm surveys, the National Weather Service has officially confirmed 10 tornadoes in Alabama from the March 25th outbreak.

That’s a change from the previous number of 11 tornadoes as the National Weather Service has connected the paths of the Ohatchee and Piedmont tornadoes.

Seven of those were rated at least EF-2, which qualifies them as being “strong.”

There was also a violent EF-4 tornado that struck Newnan, Georgia, later into the evening. That tornado had a maximum wind speed of 170 mph and was a mile wide.

The four EF-3 tornadoes to hit Alabama on March 25th.
The four EF-3 tornadoes to hit Alabama on March 25th.(WSFA 12 News)

That’s what made the outbreak even more impressive. Yes, there were 10 tornadoes in the state in a single day, but the fact that four of them were rated EF-3 and three others were rated EF-2 is what will set this day apart from most others.

For perspective, here are the wind speeds on the Enhanced Fujita Scale:

  • EF0: 65-85 mph
  • EF1: 86-110 mph
  • EF2: 111-135 mph
  • EF3: 136-165 mph
  • EF4: 166-200 mph
  • EF5: 201+ mph

But the ratings weren’t the only impressive part of this particular tornado outbreak...

The tornadoes of the March 25th outbreak across Alabama.
The tornadoes of the March 25th outbreak across Alabama.(WSFA 12 News)

The other statistics of many of the tornadoes like path length, time on the ground and width were also rather striking. That is especially true for the Sawyerville-Centreville-Columbiana EF-3 tornado.

That massive tornado was not only very strong with maximum winds of 150 mph, but it was on the ground for over 80 miles during a 98-minute span and was upwards of 2,300 yards wide! It impacted 5 different counties -- Hale, Perry, Bibb, Chilton, and Shelby.

That tornado injured 13 people.

But the other EF-3 tornadoes to touch down were also very impressive. The 140 mph Elliotts Creek tornado that impacted parts of Hale and Tuscaloosa counties was on the ground for more than 11 miles and was upwards of 1,400 yards wide.

The West Blocton-North Shelby EF-3 tornado had maximum winds of 140 mph, was on the ground for over 50 miles and grew to 1,100 yards wide! That one impacted Bibb, Shelby and St. Clair counties. This tornado injured 5 people.

The Ohatchee-Wellington tornado was the deadly EF-3 with maximum winds of 140 mph. It was on the ground for more than 38 miles and was upwards of 1,700 yards wide. It killed 5 and injured an additional 10.

None of the other tornadoes to hit the state resulted in any injuries or loss of life, but plenty of damage was found along each twister’s path. That includes two EF-2 tornadoes in our area -- the Lake Mitchell EF-2 that impacted Chilton and Coosa counties and the Nanafalia EF-2 in Marengo County.

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