On May 26 2011 strong thunderstorms pushed through the area causing a few tress as well as power lines to come down. There where NO Severe thunderstorm Warnings issued for Muscogee or Harris counties, but special weather statements were issued at 4:56 pm EDT.
Across the river in Alabama, Russell county had severe thunderstorm warnings issued, as well as special weather statements.
At 4:51 PM EDT wind speeds recorded at Columbus airport were 30mph with Gusts as high as 49mph. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued for winds of 58mph or higher and/or a thunderstorm contains hail three-quarter inches or larger.
So, why did we in parts of Harris county hear the Tornado [Emergency Alert System / EAS] sirens go off in Muscogee county around 5 PM ? As mentioned above, the national weather service issued a special weather statement for this storm for strong winds. However the winds did not meet warning criteria and as far as I know, No hail was reported. Someone jumped the gun on this one, and that sucks. The boy who cried wolf comes to mind. When the wolf really showed, no one payed attention.
I did manage to capture this radar image as the sirens were sounding. Maybe this is why they went ahead with them. This is a possible radar indicated tornado, or at the least rotation within a severe thunderstorm at 4:58 PM EDT.
And here is a radar image as the storms moved through the area showing Severe Thunderstorm boxes in Russell county Alabama and north of the local area. If you look close, you can see red tornado warning boxes in north Georgia which I mentioned in yesterdays post as a possibility.
Total amount of rain from this storm, a dismal 0.21 inches recorded at the Columbus airport and a little more than that here at my house in Cataula 0.24 inches. Not a drought buster by any means.
Here are a couple storm damage pics from The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer