Tragically an EF3 tornado struck Adairsville, Ga. Wednesday, killing one man and leaving a town in ruins. The massive tornado severely damaged a manufacturing plant, overturned cars, and destroyed buildings [see slide show]. Recovery efforts are underway, but in the wake of the devastating tornado, homes and businesses were left as rubble.
The Town of Adairsville has a Facebook page dedicated to the recovery effort. The page provides families with a way to connect with one another and for emergency responders to coordinate non-perishable food and other donation services.
Donations can also be sent to the Red Cross.
Video of the massive Adairsville tornado shows it bearing down on Adairsville with sirens going off in the background. In the video, the reporter refers to the tornado as a ‘funnel’ cloud, yet by meteorological definition, a funnel cloud is merely the precursor to a tornado. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Glossary, a “tornado” is “a violently rotating column of air, with circulation reaching the ground. It nearly always starts as a funnel cloud.” The cloud feature in the video is a large, violent tornado.
What happened in Adairsville is not an isolated incident. Violent tornadoes – and even ‘tornado outbreaks’- can and do strike during the winter. Case in point, the recent 2012 Christmas Day Tornado Outbreak. While Dec. 25 brought cheer and snow to many across the nation last year, to the residents of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, Christmas Day will forever be remembered as the largest Christmas Day Tornado Outbreak our country has ever experienced. A total of thirty-three tornadoes ripped across parts of the South. [Storm Prediction Center Storm Reports - see slide show] Mississippi even had to declare a State of Emergency as multiple tornadoes were spawned by numerous thunderstorms that tracked across the state.
In Alabama, most of the tornadoes from the Christmas Day Outbreak 2012 occurred at night. Nighttime tornadoes are particularly dangerous as they are very hard to see (except when illuminated by power-flashes or lightning). Pay close attention to the NWS and local media when severe weather threatens. It is especially helpful to download mobile radar apps to your phone to see the watches and warning polygons as they impact your area.