We got through 2013 without a hurricane landfall. That doesn’t mean there was no memorable local weather. Here are the top 5 weather events in the News 5 area for 2013. This covers southeastern Mississippi, southwestern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
Tornado damage in Washington and Clarke Counties was a major weather event on February 10th. An EF 1 tornado formed west of St. Stephens, crossed CR 34 and the Tombigbee River into Clarke County where it hit several homes and mobile homes on Old Lock Road. “We heard, like a roaring and then the wind go real high and strong.” It stayed on the ground for 14 miles; 19 minutes; with a maximum width of 200 yards.
Tropical Storm Andrea. Early June had the first named storm of the hurricane season, in the eastern Gulf. Tropical Storm Andrea never was much of a threat to us but like all Gulf storms it awakened the surf, making for a serious threat to swimmers. “I love the waves and the ocean but it scares me.” Andrea stayed away and made landfall to the southeast of Tallahassee, Florida.
Rain. Even without a tropical storm, our area had a rainfall surplus by mid-summer. February had already produced a foot of rain. July dropped 9 inches of rain around Mobile and 16 inches around Pensacola. August delivered another 10 inches in both areas. “The under part of our home has actually got water going under it.” Summer rain seemed to be almost daily.
Waterspout. Maybe the most photogenic event of the year was a waterspout on Mobile Bay on July 10. Terrie Williams captured it from Point Clear. The spout formed on the edge of a thunderstorm. Captain Todd Wilson stayed ahead of it as the waterspout dissipated before reaching land or the Causeway.
Tropical Storm Karen. In early October, TS Karen developed just off the Yucatan Peninsula and held a steady northward course, leading into Bayfest weekend. Dry air entered the storm as it neared the coast and weakened it quickly. Karen faded before hitting land.
Alan Sealls News 5