The National Weather Service says there’s evidence of multiple tornadoes striking Alabama during Monday’s storms, and they’re still counting, officials say.
The weather service says survey teams initially found tracks showing at least 9 tornado touchdowns in the northern part of the state during the storms; however, that number quickly grew to 11 by the end of the day on Wednesday and is now at 14 as of this morning as more storm damage surveys are assessed from the past two days.
They still say the strongest one confirmed was an EF-3 that hit Jacksonville in Calhoun County, Alabama (just to the southeast of Gadsden). Officials say that tornado had peak winds of around 140 mph and an analysis shows it traveled into western Georgia after wreaking havoc on the city including the campus of Jacksonville State University.
While that may be the biggest one, several of those tornadoes confirmed were in the Tennessee Valley of north Alabama, where an EF-2 touched-down in the town of Ardmore in Limestone County, just south of the Tennesse state line.
The U.S. National Weather Service office in Huntsville, Alabama, which is responsible for issuing warnings and forecasts for North Central Alabama along with three Tennessee counties — Lincoln, Moore, and Franklin County (which sits directly west of Marion County) — has stayed busy since the storms ceased on Monday night.
They’ve confirmed multiple tornadoes across their warning area in Alabama, including one along Hwy. 65 in the Francisco community in far northwest Jackson County. This was a small or weak tornado and more information is expected from the NWS soon. Others include an EF-1 in Russellville, EF-1 in Morgan County near Hartselle, EF-1 near Hazel Green in Madison County, EF-2 in Marshall County, two EF-1’s in Lawrence County, and an EF-0 in Colbert County. One of their survey teams found evidence that a small/weak tornado occurred east of Decherd, Tenn. in Franklin County during the storms. More information is pending regarding that twister at this time.
National Weather Service officials say the tally could still rise as teams are still assessing the damage.