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I finally found an excuse to use BREAKING in a title. We just had a tornado here in Mobile a few miles south of here. The tornado sirens went off at 850 Central (according to my roommate), when I was sleeping. Thunder woke me up around 900, and they sounded the sirens again for the all clear a few minutes later. I've never heard tornado sirens, so this is a red letter day for me right out of the gate.

Here's the text from the warning, with the emphasis being mine:

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 930 AM CST FOR SOUTH
CENTRAL MOBILE AND CENTRAL BALDWIN COUNTIES...

AT 844 AM CST.... THIS TORNADO WAS NEAR THEODORE...MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH. A CITIZEN HAS NOW REPORTED A TORNADO ON THE GROUND NEAR THE DOG TRACK WITH VISIBLE DEBRIS SWIRLING AROUND IT.

The dog track is about 7 miles south of me, and 10 miles away from downtown Mobile. It looks like the city center was spared, as well as the rest of the residential areas, but I can't be totally sure. I'm trying to get local news but our campus cable runs through a central satellite, whose signal got knocked out due to the storm.

Here's the storm as it moved through around 839AM CST:

Here are the storm velocities...red shows wind moving away from the radar, and green shows wind moving towards the radar. When the two colors are very close to each other, it can show rotation in the storm and a possible tornado.

I'll keep updating this storm with pictures and reports of the damage. There are now reports of tornado damage across the bay in Baldwin County near Fairhope and Summerdale.

UPDATE:

Damage near Tillman's Corner, where the tornado was reported and near where the circulation popped up on the radar above.


Tornado damage to a shopping center. IMAGE SOURCE: WALA FOX 10 News, Mobile, AL


Tornado damage to a BP station. IMAGE SOURCE: WALA FOX 10 News, Mobile, AL

There is confirmed tornado damage in Baldwin Co., AL, and there is a tornado on the ground moving into Escambia County, Florida right now. If you or anyone you know lives NORTH of Pensacola, seek shelter NOW.

UPDATE 2

18 wheeler flipped at the destroyed BP in Theodore, AL. According to Mobile Fire & Rescue, there have been 3 minor injuries reported, but thankfully nothing more.

UPDATE 3

Tornado threat is still very serious north of Pensacola, near Milton, Wallace and Riverview, Florida. Tornado damage reported in Silverhill, AL across the bay in Baldwin County. Vehicles overturned, roofs torn off homes, lots of tree and "minor" (siding/shingle/window) damage.

According to what I've been watching on the news and radar, here's the approximate path of where a tornado/tornadoes have occurred. The tornado hasn't been on the ground the entire time, but this is the path the rotation has taken and where most of the damage will be found.

UPDATE 4

Another picture of the damaged BP station, from FOX 10 TV's Facebook page:

UPDATE 5

Still reports coming in of lots of damage near Mobile, and some scattered reports coming in across the bay. The NWS will go out either today or tomorrow to survey the damage. It's starting to sink in that there was a tornado that close to me. The guy on TV said it best...it's one thing to watch this on radar, it's another thing to see the damage and realize how close it was to you.

UPDATE 6

Vehicles flipped over in Silverhill, AL...confirming that this storm has produced either a long track tornado or a tornado that "bounced around," touching down, lifting up, touching down, and lifting up again. Silverhill is on that yellow line I drew on the map above, near Daphne AL.

UPDATE 7

New tornado warning for Baldwin Co. AL and Santa Rosa Co. AL. Warning includes Orange Beach AL, Pensacola FL, Pensacola Beach FL, Navarre Beach FL, and surrounding areas. Nothing is confirmed yet, but this could be dangerous as the main rotation goes through heavily populated cities and tourist areas along the AL/FL coast.

UPDATE 8

I have to go to class, so I'll be back in a few hours. By then, the storms should be done. I'll have another diary either tonight or tomorrow about the damage estimates and the cleanup. Stay safe, everyone. :)

UPDATE 9

OK I finally have some free time to act as alternate blog editor on this. The Tallahassee radar is showing
 

and this is the tornado warning associated with it

WFUS52 KTAE 091917
TORTAE
GAC071-277-321-091945-
O.NEW.KTAE.TO.W.0007.110309T1917Z-110309T1945Z

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
217 PM EST WED MAR 9 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  EXTREME NORTH CENTRAL COLQUITT COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL GEORGIA...
  TIFT COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL GEORGIA...
  SOUTHEASTERN WORTH COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL GEORGIA...

* UNTIL 245 PM EST

* AT 213 PM EST...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO 10 MILES  
  SOUTHWEST OF POULAN...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO TY
  TY...OMEGA...PHILLIPSBURG...TIFTON AND UNIONVILLE

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW! LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES FOR SAFER STRUCTURES.
MOVE TO A HALLWAY OR CLOSET ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND
OUTSIDE WALLS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 500 PM EST WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON FOR NORTHWEST FLORIDA AND SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA.

&&

LAT...LON 3155 8345 3136 8343 3135 8344 3133 8346
      3133 8375 3134 8389 3150 8391 3156 8347
TIME...MOT...LOC 1917Z 267DEG 39KT 3140 8382

$$

14-MROCZKA

The line is starting to move into air that is less conducive to severe weather so hopefully it will weaken. Still gonna get plenty if rain out out it. -not4morewars-

UPDATE 10

Here is the relevant discussion from SPC's latest outlook. Not quite over yet but expected to weaken over time. -not4morewars-

ALTHOUGH THE UPPER TROUGH NOW CENTRAL U.S. EXPECTED TO DEEPEN SEWD
   INTO THE NRN GULF STATES BY TONIGHT...THE NOW MATURE SQUALL LINE
   FROM NRN GA SWWD INTO THE GULF S OF MOB WILL CONTINUE EWD WELL AHEAD
   OF THE COLD FRONT TO OFF THE GA/SC COAST BY LATER THIS EVENING.

   AS EVIDENCED BY THE TRAJECTORY OF THE LOW LEVEL MOISTURE ON THE
   VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY OFF THE GOM...THE CURRENTLY IMPRESSIVE
   QLCS PORTION OF THE SQUALL LINE NEAR THE GULF COAST OF AL/FL BY MID
   AFTERNOON WILL ENCOUNTER SOMEWHAT LESS FAVORABLE THERMODYNAMICS.

   FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS SUPERCELLS AND TORNADOES ARE STILL
   POSSIBLE EMBEDDED WITHIN THE BOWING SEGMENTS OF THE STRONG QLCS NOW
   ENTERING THE WRN FL PANHANDLE. AREA VWPS INDICATED VERY STRONG LOW
   LEVEL SHEAR 0-1 KM SRH 300-400+ M2 PER S2...WHILE EFFECTIVE BULK
   SHEAR EXCEEDING 50 KT ALONG THE QLCS SUPPORTS BOTH THE LINEAR
   STRUCTURE AND EMBEDDED SUPERCELLS.  

   BY LATER THIS AFTERNOON WHILE THE TORNADO POTENTIAL WILL BE
   DECREASING...WIND DAMAGE WILL BE POSSIBLE EWD ACROSS SRN GA/NRN FL
   TO NEAR THE ATLANTIC COAST BY THIS EVENING.

UPDATE 11 (from weatherdude)

SPC says Emergency Management has reported a tornado on the ground associated with the storm above that not4morewars posted. The tornado was on the ground near the Worth-Colquitt county line.

Originally posted to State of the Skies on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:36 AM PST.

Also republished by Severe Weather Liveblog and Community Spotlight.

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