A major tornado outbreak hit the southeastern USA on Sunday, March 3. Numerous damaging tornadoes were reported, including at least one violent tornado. We take a closer look at preliminary analysis and data available for this very noteworthy event.

Preliminary data indicates 36 tornado reports on March 3 across Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. 97 tornado warnings were issued.

The most powerful tornado in the outbreak was the Lee County tornado, rated EF-4 by NWS Birmingham. The tornado produced a 109-km long damage track. It was also the cause of all 23 reported fatalities.

Chaser and eyewitness videos clearly demonstrate the enhanced danger of tornadoes in these areas – also known as the ‘Dixie alley’ – where visibility is poor, the view obstructed by trees, cloud bases often very low, resulting in the tornado not being visible virtually all the way until impact. This is the Lee County / Beauregard, AL EF-4 tornado:

Note the textbook tornadic supercell structure, with a clearly visible RFD cut and the wedge tornado. Also note the RFD dragging rain curtains in the latter part of the video.

Damage from the Eufaula (Barbour Co), AL EF-1 tornado:

Additional damage reports:

Also see:

Destructive tornadoes hit Alabama, Georgia and Florida, USA – March 3, 2019