Damaging thunderstorms developed over Adair County on the afternoon of Monday, January 2, 2006.  A tornado touched down just south of Columbia at approximately 2:22pm CST...destroying a mobile home.  The tornado then continued northeast for about a mile, damaging several homes, and ripping a roof completely off one home in the east part of Columbia just to the east of Green Hills Road.  A policeman off-duty at the time described the tornado as it approached his location.  The twister created F2 damage.

The same parent supercell thunderstorm produced another tornado that touched down near Pellyton in far northeast Adair County, severely damaging several barns and homes.  This tornado touched down at approximately 2:57pm CST and was on the ground for about half a mile.  Eye-witnesses described this tornado as it approached.  This tornado was rated an F1.

If you have any information or pictures of this storm, please give us a call at 502-969-8842 or e-mail us at w-lmk.webmaster@noaa.gov .

Adair County

Columbia, Kentucky

Pellyton, Kentucky

Many thanks to Scott Bennett for sending these photos to us!

The following photographs were taken by official National Weather Service Storm Survey Team members in Adair County:


We can do little to prevent a tornado from occurring, but by knowing the safety rules, we can minimize the number of deaths and injuries.

A tornado watch means that tornado development is possible. Keep a watchful eye on the sky for threatening weather and stay tuned to radio and television and listen for weather bulletins.

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Persons in the path of the storm should seek shelter immediately, preferably in a storm cellar, underground excavation, or in a steel-framed or concrete reinforced building.

In homes, the basement offers the greatest safety. Seek shelter under sturdy furniture, if possible. In homes without basements , take cover in the center part of the house, on the lowest floor, in a small room such as a closet or bathroom, or under sturdy furniture. Stay away from windows.

In schools, hospitals, and shopping centers, move to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on lowest floors are best. If the building is not of reinforced construction, go to a nearby one that is, or take cover outside on low, protected ground. Stay out of auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other structures with wide free-span roofs.

In open country, move away from the tornado/s path at right angles. If there is not time to escape, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine.

In your car, do not try to outrun a tornado. If available, take shelter in a sturdy structure. Otherwise, get in the nearest ditch or depression until the tornado passes.

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to overturning during strong winds and should be evacuated when strong winds or tornadoes are forecast. Damage can be minimized by securing trailers with cables anchored in concrete footing. Trailer parks should have community storm shelters. If there is no shelter nearby, leave the trailer park and take cover on low-protected ground.


The Fujita Scale, developed by Dr. Theodore Fujita, assigns a numerical rating from F0 to F5 to rate the intensity of tornadoes. F0 and F1 tornadoes are considered "weak" tornadoes, F2 and F3 are classified as "strong" tornadoes, where F4 and F5 are categorized as "violent" tornadoes. The F scale is based on tornado damage (primarily to buildings), so there is some ambiguity in the scale, but nonetheless, it provides a good baseline for classifying tornadoes according to their intensity.


0 < 73 Light damage. Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards.
1 73-112 Moderate damage. The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane-force wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off roads.
2 113-157 Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; Cars lifted off ground.
3 158-206 Severe damage. Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.
4 207-260 Devastating damage. Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.
5 261-318 Incredible damage. Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distance to disintegrate; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters (109 yds); trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.


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