January 12 Tornado outbreak in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia

Hail, straight-line winds and tornadoes from a severe thunderstorm system damaged property in areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Selma, Alabama was one of the hardest-hit cities on January 12.

More than 16,800 homes valued at an estimated $4.5 billion within the tornado path

CoreLogic® estimates that approximately 16,800 single and multi-family residential properties with a combined Reconstruction Value (RCV) of $4.5 billion were within tornado paths in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Table 1 shows the top five counties by number of residential properties within the tornado path.

Table 1: The top five counties by number of residential properties within the tornado paths in all affected states

district Condition property census RCV ($m)
Dallas AL 5,755 1,604
spalding GA 4.227 1,028
Henry GA 1,365 389
troop GA 866 210
Talapoosa AL 733 228

Source: CoreLogic, Inc.

© 2023 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

Note that not all properties within the tornado footprint were damaged. A damaged structure must not have been 100% damaged to full rebuild value.

A single supercell thunderstorm traveled more than 550 miles across multiple states. It was responsible for the most severe tornadoes in terms of intensity and size of the region affected. Tornadoes have been recorded from Selma, Alabama to northeast Georgia (Figure 1). The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that the Selma tornado achieved EF-2 status with peak wind speeds estimated at 130 mph.

Figure 1: Tornadic activity in Alabama and Georgia as displayed in CoreLogic® Reactor

Figure 1 TornadoPath reactor

Source: CoreLogic, Inc.

© 2023 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

CoreLogic® Tornado Forensics Technology captured the 20-mile path that traversed downtown Selma (Figure 2). Selma is expected to have a high probability of damage (50%) and local reports from the area indicate there was significant structural damage on January 12th.

Figure 2: Tornado path that traversed downtown Selma, Alabama as viewed in CoreLogic® Reactor. Darker colors represent higher probability of damage

Figure 2 TornadoPath Selma reactor

Source: CoreLogic, Inc.

© 2023 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) reported tree and structure damage in Selma, Alabama, including severe damage at the Selma Country Club. The NWS survey following the event found roof and foundation damage to several prefab homes and severe exterior wall damage to buildings throughout Selma.

The storm is responsible for widespread power outages in Alabama and Georgia, and as of 5:25 p.m. EST on Jan. 12, over 160,000 customers were without power, according to poweroutage.us.

Cold-season tornadoes continue to hit the U.S. southeast

A cold front moved eastward across the southern United States on January 12, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake in the form of hail, tornadoes, and fierce straight-line winds. According to NOAA, there have been more than 20 tornado reports in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, and more than 40 hail reports from Oklahoma to West Virginia (Figure 1).

Figure 3: January 12 tornado (dark green markers) and hail outbreak (red markers) as viewed in CoreLogic® Reactor

Figure 3 Reactor TornadoHail Reports Map

Source: CoreLogic, Inc.

© 2023 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

Two-inch hail was reported south of Birmingham, Alabama

The cold front dropped hailstones from three-quarters of an inch to over two inches in the US southeast. CoreLogic Hail Verification Technology mapped two-inch diameter hailstones in Shelby County, Alabama, about 15 miles southeast of downtown Birmingham (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Plumes of hail outside of Birmingham, Alabama on January 12 as viewed in CoreLogic®Reactor

Figure 4 Reactor Hail Birmingham

Source: CoreLogic, Inc.

© 2023 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

Two-inch diameter hail is slightly larger than a golf ball and can fall at nearly 40 miles per hour, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). This size is classified as “very large hail” by the National Weather Service (NWS) and can cause moderate damage to property such as buildings, cars and agriculture.

Hail larger than one inch in diameter was also recorded near Nashville, Tennessee, north of Greenville, South Carolina, and northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

Visit www.hazardhq.com for updates on the January 12 severe thunderstorms and information on future disasters around the world.

© 2022 CoreLogic, Inc., All rights reserved.

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