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WATCH: A Wild February Tornado Outbreak

17 Feb 2016, 1:31 pm

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.21.35 PMFebruary has been a super-active month for big weather and many of the headlines haven’t been about Winter weather, but instead, we’ve seen major severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the first half of the month.

So far, our February tornado report number is up to 49, the most in this month since 2012. WeatherNation’s Chris Bianchi tells us that the 25 year average for February is 34- we were way ahead of that with almost half the month to go!

Some amazing video came from early this month, as an EF-1 tornado ripped through Alamo, Tennessee causing major damage to Crockett County High School.

Then, on President’s Day, the reports came in one after the other. In Mississippi, severe thunderstorms dropped funnel after funnel and the damage was evident from one side of the state to the other.

As thunder rumbled across the fields, Centerville locals watched this funnel co me down from an ominous lowering in the clouds. In Wesson, trees were down all over the place. They had smashed roofs… taken down powerlines and brought the power crews out to get the lights back on. And here, their high school took a hit, too, but everybody was okay.

Then eastward in Alabama, more storms were pounding that state and WeatherNation’s David Neal was covering the outbreak live with field meteorologist Brett Adair on the phone, racing towards an expected tornado near Brewton. In Escambia County, it wasn’t long before they found this reported tornado’s damage path.

There were more trees down over the roads and a strange sight to see… what appeared to be a power transformer burning in the driving rain. And then they found a building totally destroyed. And although, luckily, all the vehicles seemed to be okay, the Johnsonville Volunteer Fire Departments building was gone. The tornado had scraped the structure down to the foundation, leaving a pile of twisted debris in the field behind, it.

This tornado moved from Escambia county in Florida, across the border into Alabama and by the end of the day several homes had major damage and 20,000 families were without power. Four schools remained closed on Tuesday due to the damage.

Monday ended with a total of 35 tornado reports for the day. The peak of severe weather season is still months away, so the active start to this year is a big reminder to stay weather aware!

For WeatherNation: John Van Pelt

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