(Weather Service office in Pondville, Alabama near Centreville sustained damage at the time. source: NWS)
During the month of May we often see the major severe weather activity shift northward. Although that trend may happen, this doesn’t mean that the classice severe weather setup can’t develop in late May. Yesterday marked the anniversary of a severe weather day that produced two major tornadoes in our area. In 1973 an F-3 tornado touched down just northeast of the city of Tarrant and moved through Centerpoint in Jefferson County. With winds of 162-209 mph, this violent tornado was responsible for over 70 injures and one fatality.
On this date another violent tornado touched down near Greensboro and later traveled northeast into the town of Brent in Bibb County. This was an F-4 tornado and it was a long track tornado that later moved into Centreville, Montevallo, Columbiana, Wilsonville, and Childersburg. Around 90% of Brent was destroyed as this violent tornado moved through our area. Around 570 buildings were damaged as this tornado tracked northeast, with over 90 mobile homes destroyed. This tornado was responsible for reshaping the layout of towns like Centreville.
Notice that the labels use the “F” scale since these tornadoes were ranked prior to the new Enhanced Fujita Scale which is based on engineering studies. Now we see tornadoes ranked based on the EF Scale. For the complete report from the Birmingham National Weather Service click here.
(Image from the Birmingham Post-Herald. source: NWS)
Fox 6 Meteorologist