3A.1 The 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak: Overview of the tornadoes and their parent storms

Monday, 27 October 2008: 1:30 PM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Kevin R. Knupp, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL ; and T. Coleman, W. Petersen, and L. Carey

The cold-season tornado outbreak that occurred over the Southeast on 5-6 February 2008 was significant for the following reasons:

• About 84 tornadoes were documented over a 15 h period between late afternoon on 5 February and early morning on 6 February 2008.

• The tornadoes produced 57 fatalities.

• A wide variety of parent storms were associated with the tornadoes.

• A total of five EF-4 tornadoes occurred; two formed over Alabama during the early morning hours prior to sunrise.

• There was a significant lull period between the initial storm activity and the early morning activity over Alabama 10 hours later.

• A wide spectrum of storm types, ranging from isolated supercell storms to QLCS bow echoes, accompanied the tornadoes.

The goal of this paper it to provide a general description of the outbreak, including the distribution of tornadoes and supercell storms over the region, a detailed map of the tornado tracks, time series of tornadoes and parent storms, and general characteristics of all parent tornadic storms. The total number of major storms (duration > 3 h, at least three tornadoes produced) was seven. Several noteworthy storms are described:

• A long track (198 km long) tornado and its parent storm over Arkansas.

• A prolific supercell storm persisted for 7-8 hours and produced about 16 tornadoes from north-central Mississippi to southern KY.

• The northern part of the QLCS was relatively intense and produced 16 tornadoes over Kentucky.

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