Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Tornado
-- Scale EF2
-- Length 5.53 Miles
-- Width 880 Yards
State GEORGIA
County/Area MERIWETHER
WFO FFC
Begin Date 04/27/2011 22:59:00 EST-5
Begin Range 0
Begin Azimuth S
Begin Location ALVATON
Begin Lat/Lon 33.17/-84.58
End Date 04/27/2011 23:07:00 EST-5
End Range 3
End Azimuth NE
End Location CARMEL
End Lat/Lon 33.21/-84.5
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 250.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative A highly diffluent, deep upper trough, centered across Texas, took on a negative tilt and began to rotate northeast during this period. A strong maritime-Pacific (mP) cold front accompanied the upper trough through the mid-south into the southeast from the early morning hours of the 27th to the early morning hours of the 28th. An intense low-level jet with winds in excess of 70 knots was noted in advance of this system and tracked across the mid-south early on the 27th, across north Alabama and north Georgia into the early morning hours of the 28th. West-southwest winds aloft were highly diffluent and near 200 mph across this same region. The strong low-level jet brought unseasonably, warm, moist Gulf air northward in advance of the mP cold front. Dewpoints in the 70s and maximum temperatures in the 80s combined with the extremely strong low-level and upper jets to create an almost perfect environment for severe thunderstorms and large devastating tornadoes. Indeed, the tornado outbreak that affected much of the eastern U.S., but particularly the south central and southeastern U.S. during this period, was unprecedented and likely the largest recorded in U.S. history. The tornado outbreak that accompanied this combination of weather features has been termed the 2011 Super Outbreak, an outbreak even worse than the 1994 and 1974 super tornado outbreaks across the eastern U.S. The outbreak affected the South Central, Southeast, Midwest, and even the usually less tornado prone Northeastern United States. Over 330 tornadoes were reported during this outbreak which began on April 25th and continued into the 28th affecting 21 states from Texas to New York. Even isolated tornadoes were noted in Canada. Nearly 350 people died from these tornadoes, of which over 230 of these were in Alabama alone. Four tornadoes on April 27th in Alabama and Mississippi were ranked EF5, the highest tornado damage rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. On average, there is only one EF5 tornado per year in the entire U.S.

Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred on each day of the outbreak, but April 27th was clearly one of the most prolific and destructive tornado days in U.S. history, probably only surpassed by the Tri-State outbreak of 1925 and the Tupelo-Gainesville outbreak of 1936. The 24-hour period from 8 am April 27th to 8 a.m. April 28th is listed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the fourth deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history, with the 24 hours commencing April 28th at 8 a.m. as the fifth deadliest tornado day in U.S. history. It has also been determined to be the costliest tornado outbreaks and one of the costliest natural disasters in the U.S., even after adjustments for inflation, with total damages estimated to exceed $10 billion.

Georgia was heavily impacted by this tornado outbreak, especially the northwest part of the state which bore the brunt of the massive supercell thunderstorms producing killer tornadoes that tracked east-northeast from northern Alabama during the late evening. All together, there were 15 tornadoes affecting 28 counties within the Peachtree City, Georgia 96-county warning area (CWA) of North and Central Georgia. All of these occurred within a 24-hour period commencing at 8 am April 27th. One of these tornadoes was rated an EF4, the first EF4 tornado in Georgia since the Palm Sunday outbreak in 1994. In addition, there were also four EF3 tornadoes. Fifteen tornado-related deaths were observed in north and central Georgia, the most tornado-related deaths within the Peachtree City, Georgia forecast area since its inception in 1994. The previous highest tornado-related death total was 12 on March 20, 1998, when a tornado struck Gainesville, Georgia.

Finally, it should be noted that while the most significant period of severe weather during this outbreak for Georgia was from the afternoon of the 27th through the early morning hours of the 28th, there was an initial round of severe weather across northwest Georgia early on the 27th as a decaying line of severe thunderstorms moved into the region from northeast Alabama. Widespread wind damage and even a few brief weaker tornadoes accompanied this system into the northwest counties of the state.
Event Narrative A damage survey conducted by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City, Georgia confirmed that a second tornado touched down in northeast Meriwether county simultaneously while another EF2 tornado was tracking across the southern part of the county. Although this tornado was only EF2 strength during its small track across northeast Meriwether county, it strengthened to an EF3 rating shortly after entering Spalding county and continued at an EF3 rating until it just moved across the Henry county line near the ends of its track. The tornado touched down just south of Alvaton and just south of the intersection of Georgia Highways 74 and 362, then tracked northeast across western and northern Spalding county and into extreme southern Henry county before lifting. The tornado resulted in two deaths in western Spalding county near the town of Birdie. The tornado had a total path length of near 22 miles, with approximately 5.5 miles of this within northeast Meriwether county. The maximum path width was 1/2 mile with maximum winds estimated to be 140 mph. Damage in Meriwether county was confined primarily to several hundred downed trees, some power lines, and minor structural damage to outbuildings. There were no fatalities or injuries within Meriwether county from this tornado.

[04/27-04/28/11: Tornado #11, County #1-3, EF3, Meriwether-Spalding-Henry, 2011:020].


All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 14 143 181.112M 0.00K
ESOM HILL POLK CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:17 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 54 kts. EG 0 0 15.00K 0.00K
TALLAPOOSA HARALSON CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:17 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 75.00K 0.00K
CAVE SPG FLOYD CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:17 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 56 kts. EG 0 4 20.000M 0.00K
RISING FAWN DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:22 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 25.00K 0.00K
CENTER POST WALKER CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:36 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 25.00K 0.00K
GASS DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:40 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 1.000M 0.00K
FT OGLETHORPE CATOOSA CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:41 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
TILTON WHITFIELD CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:55 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 4.00K 0.00K
RESACA GORDON CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:55 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 500.00K 0.00K
RAMHURST MURRAY CO. GA 04/27/2011 07:59 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 51 kts. EG 0 0 7.00K 0.00K
TRENTON DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 13:30 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 61 kts. EG 0 0 500.00K 0.00K
LOOKOUT MTN WALKER CO. GA 04/27/2011 13:45 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 54 kts. EG 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
FT OGLETHORPE CATOOSA CO. GA 04/27/2011 13:50 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 5.00K 0.00K
GASS DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 16:35 EST-5 Tornado EF3 2 25 20.000M 0.00K
HINKLES WALKER CO. GA 04/27/2011 16:45 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 25 5.000M 0.00K
MORGANVILLE DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 16:45 EST-5 Hail 2.50 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
LOOKOUT MTN WALKER CO. GA 04/27/2011 16:52 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 15.00K 0.00K
LAKEVIEW CATOOSA CO. GA 04/27/2011 16:58 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 39 kts. EG 0 0 5.00K 0.00K
RISING FAWN DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 18:49 EST-5 Hail 1.00 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SULPHUR SPGS STATION DADE CO. GA 04/27/2011 18:50 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 150.00K 0.00K
FT OGLETHORPE CATOOSA CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:15 EST-5 Hail 1.75 in. 0 0 127.00K 0.00K
BLUE SPRING CATOOSA CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:15 EST-5 Tornado EF4 8 30 25.000M 0.00K
HEMATITE POLK CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:45 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 7.000M 0.00K
COOSA FLOYD CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:45 EST-5 Hail 1.75 in. 0 0 345.00K 0.00K
COOSA FLOYD CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:50 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 25.00K 0.00K
HANEY FLOYD CO. GA 04/27/2011 19:50 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 4 5.000M 0.00K
KINGSTON BARTOW CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:08 EST-5 Hail 0.88 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
WOOLEYS BARTOW CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:10 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 250.00K 0.00K
CASSVILLE BARTOW CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:20 EST-5 Tornado EF3 0 25 15.000M 0.00K
HINTON PICKENS CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:39 EST-5 Hail 1.75 in. 0 0 128.00K 0.00K
GREELEY CHEROKEE CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:41 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 350.00K 0.00K
TALMADGE PICKENS CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:43 EST-5 Tornado EF3 0 0 8.000M 0.00K
CEDARTOWN POLK CO. GA 04/27/2011 20:50 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 61 kts. EG 0 0 300.00K 0.00K
BOWDON CARROLL CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:20 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 5.00K 0.00K
WALNUT LUMPKIN CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:30 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 1 750.00K 0.00K
CLEVELAND WHITE ARPT WHITE CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:39 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 100.00K 0.00K
BUENA VISTA TROUP CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:45 EST-5 Tornado EF0 0 0 250.00K 0.00K
WALESKA CHEROKEE CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:47 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 7.00K 0.00K
MACEDONIA TOWNS CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:49 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 43 kts. EG 0 0 25.00K 0.00K
COOKSVILLE HEARD CO. GA 04/27/2011 21:58 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 1 1.500M 0.00K
GRANTVILLE COWETA CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:02 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
LONG CANE TROUP CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:02 EST-5 Hail 1.75 in. 0 0 282.00K 0.00K
CHATSWORTH MURRAY CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:02 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 2.00K 0.00K
NEWNAN COWETA CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:20 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CANNONVILLE TROUP CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:20 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 6 10.000M 0.00K
TURNERS CORNER LUMPKIN CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:30 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
DAWSONVILLE DAWSON CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:49 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 52 kts. EG 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
HOG GAP HARRIS CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:55 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 2.000M 0.00K
ALVATON MERIWETHER CO. GA 04/27/2011 22:59 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 250.00K 0.00K
COUNTY LINE MERIWETHER CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:03 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 6.000M 0.00K
BLANTONS MILL SPALDING CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:08 EST-5 Tornado EF3 2 0 25.000M 0.00K
HENDRICKS UPSON CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:18 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 0 500.00K 0.00K
CLEVELAND WHITE CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:21 EST-5 Thunderstorm Wind 55 kts. EG 0 0 25.00K 0.00K
HAMPTON HENRY CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:26 EST-5 Tornado EF3 0 0 150.00K 0.00K
CLEARWATER SPRINGS PIKE CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:38 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
PIEDMONT LAMAR CO. GA 04/27/2011 23:43 EST-5 Tornado EF3 2 12 10.000M 0.00K
SOCRATES MONROE CO. GA 04/28/2011 00:00 EST-5 Tornado EF2 0 10 5.000M 0.00K
NEWBORN NEWTON CO. GA 04/28/2011 00:11 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 400.00K 0.00K
REECE MORGAN CO. GA 04/28/2011 00:13 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 7.000M 0.00K
CORK BUTTS CO. GA 04/28/2011 00:16 EST-5 Tornado EF0 0 0 30.00K 0.00K
GRESHAMVILLE GREENE CO. GA 04/28/2011 00:36 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 750.00K 0.00K
FLAT ROCK PUTNAM CO. GA 04/28/2011 01:50 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 1.000M 0.00K
SANDY RUN HANCOCK CO. GA 04/28/2011 01:57 EST-5 Tornado EF0 0 0 15.00K 0.00K
WILLARD PUTNAM CO. GA 04/28/2011 02:10 EST-5 Hail 1.00 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
NORWOOD WARREN CO. GA 04/28/2011 02:39 EST-5 Tornado EF1 0 0 1.000M 0.00K
HARMONY PUTNAM CO. GA 04/28/2011 04:30 EST-5 Flash Flood 0 0 30.00K 0.00K
Totals: 14 143 181.112M 0.00K