Figure 4. The position of the jet stream can be clearly seen in this image of wind speed at 500 millibars (about 18,000 feet) in the atmosphere, taken from NAM Model output for March 2, 2012 at 7pm EST. Image credit: NOAA.

As the cold front finally pushed into the eastern Gulf Coast on Saturday, March 3rd, the ingredients for severe weather shifted southward into north Florida and south Georgia - setting the stage for a few tornadoes, damaging winds, and some areas of flooding.

The Lowndes-Lanier County EF3 Tornado

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Lowndes-Lanier County Tornado Track

Red outline is the surveyed tornado damage path. White icons are a few of the surveyed damage points.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/tae/events/20120303/tornadostatistics.jpgThe most significant damage of the severe weather event in south Georgia and north Florida was caused by a tornado that moved from just northwest of Moody Air Force Base to near Lakeland, Georgia. The damage was assessed by a survey team from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. Most of the damage was consistent with an EF1 or EF2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. However, the most severe damage - near Boyette Road and Highway 122 - was consistent with an EF3 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Maximum wind speeds were estimated to be around 140 mph at that location. What follows is a general description of the progression of damage, with accompanying damage survey photos. To view a static image of the damage path, click here.


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