RARE JANUARY HIGH RISK

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Yesterday, January 22, proved to be a deadly day for severe. Albany, GA was especially hit hard by a violent tornado.

High Risk days, as outlined by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center), are rare in of themselves; and to have such a day in January is even more so. A deepening low pressure system was ejecting through North Georgia, and tapping into unseasonably warm Gulf of Mexico temperatures. Usually in the Deep South, during the winter months, instability is the limiting ingredient when it comes to severe weather outbreaks. Wind shear, the changing of wind direction with altitude, is usually the MVP. However, due to the warm temperatures that persisted over the Gulf of Mexico, higher instability levels made an appearance.

The Albany, GA tornado’s parent supercell was able to latch on to the advancing warm front. Combined with extreme wind shear values, this was the perfect nest for a monster tornado. The mid levels of the atmosphere were extremely saturated, and thus the tornado became shrouded in rain almost immediately. A rain wrapped tornado is just as dangerous as a night time tornado, as it can be impossible to see.

Unfortunately the tornado caused extensive damage to the Southeastern side of Albany, GA. Many homes were destroyed in the mobile home park, The Paradise Village of Albany. It was there that four fatalities occurred.

As with many tornado outbreaks, the resulting sunsets are surreal and hopeful. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the severe storms that occurred this weekend.

 

 

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