89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Sunday, 11 January 2009
The Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak from February 2008
Phoenix Convention Center
Richard J. Krupar III, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN; and A. E. Reynolds, T. Brown, A. McMillan, D. Liang, and J. A. Womble
The Super Tuesday tornado outbreak that occurred on February 5-6, 2008 destroyed the lives of many people in the South. An unprecedented 62 fatalities were confirmed in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In comparison to storm outbreaks of the past, the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak is considered the most deadly outbreak since the May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak that impacted parts of Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York.

This research used the Visualizing Impacts of Earthquakes with Satellites (VIEWS) system developed by ImageCat, Inc. to collect damage data from Madison and Macon counties in Tennessee. The results are resolved from a small sample of an entire data set obtained during a four-day ground survey in Tennessee. The Enhanced-Fujita (EF) Scale damage ratings were assigned accordingly to every fourth photo along the path of data collection, providing building-specific damage assessments that corresponded to various wind speeds. Preliminary results suggested damage in Madison County was not as prolific as damage incurred in Macon County. Future analysis will involve an in-depth examination of tornado damage that focuses on meteorological storm characteristics to increase building resistance and community resilience, in an attempt to alleviate long-term losses. Other sources of observation such as the National Weather Service tornado damage assessment and the Quickbird and Worldview visible satellite imagery will be used for comparison as results are gathered from the research.

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