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Christmas Tornadoes; Carolinas Now Being Threatened

By By Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist
December 27, 2012, 7:24:23 AM EST

By Wednesday, dry weather replaced the Christmas Day outbreak of damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes along the central Gulf Coast. The severe weather danger has shifted to the eastern Carolinas for Wednesday. Click here to read more about today's threat.

Below are updates that were posted on Tuesday as the Christmas Day outbreak unfolded.

UPDATES: 11:40 p.m. CST Only minor injuries were reported at the Brantley Trailer Park in Troy, Alabama.

11:10 p.m. CST: Hospital in Pike County, Alabama, just southwest of Troy, lost power in the severe storms and with the nearby tornado.

10:42 p.m. CST: Tornado was confirmed in Pike County in Alabama near the Troy Municipal Airport. The tornado ripped through the Brantley Mobile Home Park, trapping people.

10:15 p.m. CST: The tornado watch in the Mobile area was finally cancelled. Just as Alabama seemed to be getting some relief, another tornado warning was issued for Pike County in southeast Alabama.

9:21 p.m. CST: Tornado warning issued out for central Elmore County in Alabama, just north of Montgomery.

9:10 p.m. CST: With cells coming off the Gulf of Mexico, a tornado warning was issued for Western Bay County, near Panama City. The warning was cancelled half an hour later.

8:01 p.m. CST: After a busy evening of severe weather and tornadoes, the threat of tornadoes has waned away and for the rest of the night, severe storms with wind damage and hail will move across southern Alabama and Georgia.

Preliminary Reports of Severe Weather: * 15 Tornadoes * 7 people injured * 52 reports of wind damage * 2 reports of hail

The threat Wednesday switches to the North and South Carolina where a threat of wind damage and perhaps tornadoes will occur across the eastern part of the states.

7:01 p.m. CST: Amazing image of the Mobile, AL tornado hitting a transformer. Full video link is here



6:07 p.m. CST: Conditions remain favorable for tornadoes across southern Alabama. Radar at this hour continues to show strong rotation within the thunderstorms across southwest Alabama. That strong rotation could mean that large tornadoes are currently forming or have formed. The threat across southern Alabama will continue until at least 8:00 p.m. CST.

Latest preliminary severe weather reports.


5:13 p.m. CST: Mobile radar during the tornado that hit western parts of Mobile, AL.A Fox TV station captured the wedge tornado on their TV cam. Damage was reported.


4:33 p.m. CST: Numerous tornado warnings out across Mississippi and Alabama.


3:33 p.m. CST: meteorologists continue to track a tornado, with a debris ball, tracking through Pearl River County in southern Mississippi. The tornado was located just south of Poplarville and had recently crossed Interstate 59. This twister likely caused damage on White Chapel Rd. near McNeil, Miss.

3:03 p.m. CST: National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the city of New Orleans, but meteorologists feel that the danger is confined to the city's northwestern suburbs.

2:56 p.m. CST: Unconfirmed tornado damage in Centreville, Miss., with trailers damaged and a tree down on a home.

2:34 p.m. CST: Radar images indicate that a tornado may be taking shape north of Covington, La. This storm is headed to the northeast, expected to pass just south of the community of Sun.

2:20 p.m. CST: A radar-indicated tornado is about to pass just to the northwest of Folsom, La., which is located to the north-northwest of New Orleans. Other tornado warnings are in effect west of New Orleans and southwestern Mississippi.

2:15 p.m. CST: A tornado briefly touched down near Ledoux, La.

1:43 p.m. CST: Rapides Parish Sheriff reports 25-30 homes have been damaged by strong thunderstorms winds. Numerous people have sustained damage, but emergency personnel are having difficulty reaching the victims due to the damage.

1:12 p.m. CST: Storm Prediction Center issues a Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch for eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama. These are issued only when the risk of large tornadoes are predicted to occur.


12:12 p.m. CST: Storm Prediction Center issued a statement that a Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch maybe issued for southern Louisiana. To see something like that on Christmas day is extremely rare. It also tells you just how dangerous these storms will be.

11:51 a.m. CST: The line of storms we are tracking is now moving into Louisiana. So far, wind damage and hail are the primary threats now that a solid line of storms has formed. Tornado threat may start again this afternoon as the storms hit an area of warm and humid air in southern Louisiana.

The Storm Prediction Center upgraded the risk across the eastern Carolina's to moderate for Wednesday. That type of risk is rare to see this time of the year.


11:26 a.m. CST: Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity declares the city of Houston clear of the severe weather threat, but not its eastern suburbs.

11:23 a.m. CST: A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Barrett, Texas, northeast of Houston. The thunderstorm was heading toward Mont Belvieu and Crosby.

9:22 a.m. CST: A tornado has reportedly destroyed a building 13 miles southeast of Crockett, Texas, which is north of Houston.

9:05 a.m. CST: Line of violent thunderstorms beginning to become better organized northwest of Houston.

8:20 a.m. CST: Nickel-sized hail reported in Palestine, Texas.

7:25 a.m. CST: A Tornado Watch has been issued for eastern Louisiana until 1 p.m. CST this afternoon. This watch box includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

7:22 a.m. CST: A thunderstorm capable of spawning a tornado was detected and headed toward the communities of Morse and Crowley in Louisiana.


5:25 a.m. CST: Thunderstorm wind damage reported in Cass, Texas, this morning. Power lines were blown down which resulted in a small fire on Highway 8.

5:00 a.m. CST: Severe Thunderstorms continue to develop in northern Texas. This put a severe thunderstorm warning in Bowie County, a county currently under a winter weather advisory for accumulating snow this evening.

4:18 a.m. CST: Oklahoma State Police close multiple roadways due to icing. I-35 Northbound was closed near Oklahoma City. Part of I-44 was closed because ice causing several wrecks on the Oklahoma River Bridge.

3:45 a.m. CST:: Cars reportedly were covered with ice in the Oklahoma City area, making roadways very slippery and creating dangerous traveling conditions.

3:00 a.m. CST: One-inch diameter hail was reported by law enforcement in Rusk, Texas.

3:37 a.m. CST: The severe weather outbreak officially begins with a tornado warning in Northern Acadia Parish in Louisiana. Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued for neighboring counties.

1:40 a.m. CST: Severe Thunderstorm Watches issued for 42 counties in eastern Texas and 5 parishes in Louisiana.

1:05 a.m. CST: Thunderstorms start building and strengthening in eastern Texas, including the cities of McKinney, Jasper and Beaumont.

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