5 tornadoes confirmed in Central AL on February 3rd

2 of the tornadoes touched down in Elmore County
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:52 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The storm surveys from the February 3rd severe weather event have been completed by the National Weather Service in Birmingham. It has been determined that a total of five tornadoes touched down across Central Alabama.

Three of them touched down in west-central Alabama, the other two in Elmore County.

Three EF-2 tornadoes touched down in West Alabama on February 3rd.
Three EF-2 tornadoes touched down in West Alabama on February 3rd.(WSFA 12 News)

The three tornadoes to impact west-central Alabama were all rated EF-2, which is considered “strong.” The strongest of the three was the Greene County-Hale County tornado that impacted Sawyerville. Eight people were injured and one person was killed in that tornado.

The maximum wind speed was 135 mph, just 1 mph shy of EF-3 strength on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

That tornado was on the ground for 26 miles and was as wide as 1,700 yards at one point along its path. Here’s a bit about the tornado during its strongest point from the NWS survey:

“As it approached CR 30, the tornado reached its maximum intensity of about 135 mph. A double-wide manufactured home was torn from it`s anchors, lofted and tossed approximately 50 yards across the road, causing one fatality and 2 serious injuries. A site-built home diagonally across the street sustained significant roof damage and broken glass. A double-wide home a few hundred yards south of the first home was split in two, with one half of the home remaining anchored while the other half appeared to roll away.”

The Sumter County EF-2 had maximum wind speeds of 120 mph, was on the ground for over 15 miles and was as wide as 900 yards at one point. The last of the EF-2 tornadoes began in Hale County and moved into Bibb County before dying in Tuscaloosa County. That tornado was on the ground for nearly eight miles and had a maximum path width of 500 yards.

Neither of those tornadoes injured or killed anyone despite having winds of 120 mph and 125 mph, respectively.

Two tornadoes touched down in Elmore County on February 3rd.
Two tornadoes touched down in Elmore County on February 3rd.(WSFA 12 News)

The two Elmore County tornadoes were short-lived and weak compared to the three west-central Alabama tornadoes. The first tornado to touch down in Elmore County did so just northeast of Deatsville near Holtville.

The tornado crossed the far western part of Jordan Lake, then moved back over land and lifted before moving over the lake again. This tornado had a maximum wind speed of 80 mph and caused mostly tree damage. It did toss a couple of carports at the end of Marina Road along the Coosa River.

In all, the tornado was on the ground for just over two miles and had a maximum path width of 100 yards.

Two tornadoes touched down in Elmore County on February 3rd.
Two tornadoes touched down in Elmore County on February 3rd.(WSFA 12 News)

The last tornado of the day was a brief EF-0 in northeastern Elmore County just south of the southernmost point of Lake Martin. This tornado had maximum winds of 70 mph and was on the ground for less than one quarter of a mile.

Several trees were downed and one home suffered damage from a fallen tree. Another home had some shingle loss. Finally, two outbuildings in the area had some damage. This damage was noted along Griffin Hall Road.

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