Monday, March 5, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Athens / Harvest / Meridianville (#1), AL Tornado of 3-2-12

A tornado struck during the mid-morning hours of Friday, March 2, 2012 near Athens, Alabama, and continued to the East/Northeast across portions of Limestone and Madison Counties (just to the Northwest of the city of Huntsville).

This tornado has been rated EF-3 intensity by the National Weather Service (NWS) survey, which was conducted by the office in Huntsville. Maximum winds are estimated at 140 mph.

The survey results estimate that the tornado initially touched down at approximately 9:10 AM CST near the Athens Country Club.  It then traveled toward the Northeast for approximately 34.4 miles before ending at a point near Highway 53 and Jeff Road in northeast Madison County at approximately 10am CST (as indiciated by the track in red on the above map).

The maximum width of the damage path was 250 yards (mainly along and Northeast of Mitzi Drive between Hubert Road and Walker Lane).

The following damage photos were taken by the NWS survey team:

Canebrake Neighborhood

Yarbrough Rd. Near Old Railroad Bed Rd.

Mooresville Rd.

McCulley Mill Rd. Near Pepper Rd.

The following video, via YouTube, shows some of the damage from in and around Meridianville:

The following YouTube video shows the tornado from a distance near Athens:

...and here is a video of the tornado as it approached Harvest:

...and near Meridianville (which is when it was likely at or near peak intensity).  Unfortunately, we see more of the inside of the car than the tornado at times, but it does show the tornado as well:

If you have an interest in this tornado event, please bookmark the post and check back from time to time.  We'll provide updated information, photos, video, etc., as they become available.

This tornado was just one of many associated with the outbreak that took place across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valley region on Friday, March 2, 2012.  Please see this post for a "Table of Contents" index listing of the other Tornado Chronicles posts associated with the outbreak. 

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