Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Tornado Chronicles: Adairsville, GA Tornado of 1-30-13...

An isolated supercell thunderstorm formed out ahead of a line of thunderstorms over northwest Georgia on Wednesday morning, January 30, 2013, producing a tornado that has caused significant damage and injuries in the Adairsville area. 

One person was killed (reportedly the occupant of a mobile home), and numerous persons have been injured.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and those attempting to help them.

The above screen grab came from the following YouTube video, which shows the actual tornado as it moved into Adairsville:

Another video shows the same tornado from a different vantage point (likely the opposite side and obviously further away than the one above):

A few still photos have also come about, the first one relatively close to the location of the 2nd video (note the sign belonging to the shopping center that appears to be just to the right of the tornado):

Here is another photo of the tornado, taken from an unspecified location but obviously some distance away.  The identity of the photographer was not provided:

Damage photos are also flowing in, and I will be sure to credit the images when the original person is known.  The first two via twitter from Megan Jamison:

...and the next two are via WSB-TV:

I believe the photo of the overturned vehicle shows one of "numerous" vehicles, including semi's, that were overturned on I-75.

Numerous people were reportedly trapped in both vehicles and buildings throughout the area and had to be rescued.  Efforts were hampered in some cases by trees and power lines blocking several major roadways.

It's difficult to accurately gauge the intensity of the tornado thus far with limited details on the types of structures that were impacted.  The picture below shows a fence laying down on top of a brick base, but is unclear what may or may not have been sitting above that brick in the first place:

The following video has been posted to YouTube and gives us some very revealing insights into the intensity of the tornado.  I'll post the video first, and then point out a few things immediately following it:

At about 0:36 into the video, note what appears to be a frame home with only a bathroom and part of an interior wall standing.  Unless the construction of the home was below average, that type of damage is generally consistent with an EF-3 intensity tornado:

Another sign that the Adairsville tornado was strong and/or violent is the small debris that you can see sticking straight up vertically in the ground at about 1 minute into the video:

...and as if that weren't enough evidence, take a look at this final screen grab from the damage video, which shows a "missile" that has been shot into the side of a vehicle:

I have just come across the following photo that shows the first possible hint of EF-4 intensity damage:

Depending on what type of construction was in place (i.e., how much of the exterior was covered by the masonry block, etc.), this could be EF-4 damage.  Otherwise, all of the damage photos that I've seen so far mostly depict a maximum of high-end EF-3 damage.  I'll continue looking at new photos and video and post any revelations as they come forward...

Indeed, a very strong circulation was noted on radar as the parent thunderstorm moved through the area at about 11:20 a.m. EST / 10:20 a.m. CST this morning:

An image put together by the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) shows the progression of the "mesocyclone" (or radar indicated tornado signature like the one above) associated with the parent thunderstorm as it tracked from east-central Alabama into northwestern Georgia:

The National Weather Service (NWS) has just released their preliminary assessment of the damage in Adairsville, and have rated the tornado "high end" EF-3 intensity, with maximum winds estimated at 160 mph.

The tornado was on the ground for 24.5 miles and had a width of 400 yards (nearly 1/4 mile) at its maximum:

Please check back to this post for updates as new information, photos and videos are received.

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Anonymous said...

At :14 you can see the lit "Auto Zone" sign in the left of the video frame. The Adairsville Food Lion has an Auto Zone in that exact location. I am a local resident and also believe I recognize the voice of the person in the backgroung urging the person to get back inside. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I'm referring to the second video, the one in question.

Rob White said...


thank you very much. Yes, I did notice the signs between both the 2nd video and the still photo taken out of the car window, which further gave me confidence enough to post it.

I have just recently been able to confirm that the original video was taken by Shane Smith and posted to his facebook page. At some point after that, it was loaded on to the YouTube account that I linked to.

I hope you, your friends and family all made it through this event okay. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your community...

Bob Kemper said...

I found your GREAT SITE searching for tornado damage photos for this latest storm that hit most of the US and in particular,Georgia. On Saturday January 26th, 2013 I predicted this line would form and turn tornadic and "large outbreak" and do damage in various places including: "Georgia/Alabama long track with (swath of houses destroyed)and more" The prediction was posted to my Bob's Psychic Predictions facebook group on Saturday January 26th, 2013 at 11:10 AM EST. It is dated and time stamped by facebook. Thank you for the wonderful coverage, I WILL be following you on Facebook you can follow me on facebook if you want! I also predict earthquakes and other events. I predicted Sandy seeing what I believed to be a cat 5 it was so large in the vision and specifically stated "it will come ashore just below NY city." This was posted then taken down by accident! But my followers ALL GOT IT via instant emails as soon as it was posted some 8 weeks before Sandy hit!