Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Tornado Chronicles: Bodock Farms, AL (Near Montgomery) Tornado of December 25, 2012

A strong tornado touched down just to the Southwest of Mongtomery, AL, in the Bodock Farms area of Lowndes County on Christmas Day 2012.  

According to the National Weather Service (NWS) survey, the tornado touched down at approximately 8:32 pm CST about 2 miles Northwest of Hayneville and traveled North/Northeast for 9.55 miles before lifting at approximately 8:46 pm about 7 miles West of the Montgomery Regional Airport:

The maximum intensity of the tornado according to the damage survey was EF-2, with winds estimated at 120 mph.

Hundreds of trees and several power poles were bent or snapped as the tornado initially touched down and crossed State Highway 97 to the Northwest of Hayneville:

The EF-2 intensity damage took place at a farm as the tornado crossed U.S. Highway 80 to the East of Lowndesboro.  Here, two large cattle barns were heavily damaged or destroyed, including the metal supports being bent and/or collapsed:

The tornado also lofted a large steel trash dumpster and threw it approximately 250 yards across Highway 80.  Debris from the farm was found over 1/4 of a mile to the North/Northeast.

Most of the remainder of the damage along the tornado's path was EF-0 or EF-1 intensity, associated with damage to trees and/or tree limbs.  There was a roof that was partially removed on a manufactured home just to the Northeast of where the EF-2 damage took place:

The tornado lifted just to the North of the entrance to the old GE Plastics plant along CR-37.  The tornado flipped several empty semi-trailers on the property before lifting just to the North of Gate 1, to the East of CR-37.

Just like most of the other tornadoes associated with the Christmas Day 2012 outbreak, no photos or videos of the actual tornado have been provided thus far.  We'll continue to keep our eyes open and post any updates as new information is discovered.

This EF-2 tornado was the 3rd in a series of tornadoes that were produced by the same supercell thunderstorm.  The other two tornadoes were weak and very short lived.  The first touched down near Farmersville (EF-1 intensity) at 8:09 pm and the second touched down to the East of Mosses (EF-0 intensity) at 8:26 pm:

After producing the third, strongest (EF-2) and longest track tornado at Bodock Farms, the same supercell thunderstorm continued to exhibit strong signs of rotation on radar as it moved Northeast across the Northwest side of the city of Montgomery (white circled area on the wind velocity radar images below):

Fortunately, despite the strong radar indication of a tornado, no touch downs were reported as the storm moved into the much more heavily populated suburbs of northwestern Montgomery.

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