Christmas 2012 will long be remembered in the USA for wicked weather.
But usually, bad weather on Christmas means snow, ice and cold. This year, not only were the winter aspects of the weather a problem, summer-time severe weather reared its ugly head too.
This will likely go down as the largest Christmas Day tornado outbreak on record. A large tornado tracked through part of the Mobile, Ala. metro area just after 5 p.m. CT with damage reported at a high school.
Severe Weather Reports as of 5:20pm, Tuesday (12:20pm, Wednesday NZDT
Tornado touchdowns have also been reported in Texas, Louisiana Mississippi. Several rotating storms have been reported around the western section of the Florida panhandle, both over land and off the coast but have not produced tornadoes over land. The ones off shore have reportedly produced a waterspout.
The latest reports of damage and injuries include:
If you are wondering if tornado outbreaks on Christmas Day are unusual, here are some facts to help put this into perspective for you:
According to Severe Weather Expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, there have been 8 Christmas Days since 1950 with tornadoes somewhere in the U.S, summing up to 32 Christmas Day tornadoes in 6 states (Fla., Ga., Tenn., N.C., La., W.V.)
The last time this happened was 2006, when six tornadoes struck Florida and south Georgia.
Some other Christmas Day tornado facts from Dr. Forbes, with data since 1950:
Severe weather is expected to continue tonight across this same area tonight and then along the southeastern US coast tomorrow.
In addition, just to the north of all of this warnings for winter weather are in effect. For example, Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas for the likelihood of heavy snow and strong winds. Winter storm warnings extend all the way from the southern Plains to northern New England.
Homepage image/ NSSL/NOAA
By Howard Joseph, WeatherWatch.co.nz and The Weather Channel