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NWS Charleston, SC - Saint Stephen, SC EF-1 Tornado - April 16, 2011

Saint Stephen, SC EF-1 Tornado
April 16, 2011




Tornado track. Note that the tornado started out
as a tornadic waterspout over Lake Moultrie.

Event Summary

A strong upper-level low pressure system moving into the Great Lakes region helped spawn a line of thunderstorms along and ahead of a surface cold front which was pushing east toward the coast in the afternoon. Strong wind shear in a deep layer of the atmosphere along with moderate instability allowed many of the thunderstorms to become severe. As the storms approached coastal South Carolina they combined with the sea breeze boundary which had pushed inland from the coast and the enhanced low-level wind shear aided in the development of a tornado in one of the storms moving through northern Berkeley County in southeast South Carolina.

Storm Reports and Lightning Data
(T=Tornado; W=Wind; H=Hail)

Tornado Warnings and Confirmed Tornado Tracks

Tornado Summary
LOCATION...ST. STEPHEN IN BERKELEY COUNTY SOUTH CAROLINA
DATE...04/16/2011 
ESTIMATED TIME...503 PM EDT TO 514 PM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF-1 
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...105 TO 110 MPH 
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...120 YARDS 
PATH LENGTH...8 MILES 
BEGINNING LAT/LON...33.3548N/-80.0368W 
ENDING LAT/LON...33.3973N/-79.9093W
* FATALITIES...0
* INJURIES...0

A TORNADIC WATERSPOUT DEVELOPED OVER NORTHERN LAKE MOULTRIE
AROUND 503 PM AND TRAVELED EAST-NORTHEAST ABOUT 2 MILES BEFORE
COMING ONSHORE ABOUT 2.5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF RUSSELLVILLE. THE
TORNADO THEN TRAVELED EAST-NORTHEAST BEFORE DISSIPATING ABOUT 1 MILE 
SOUTHEAST OF ST. STEPHEN. THE TORNADO DAMAGE WAS FAIRLY CONTINUOUS 
WEST OF U.S ROUTE 52...AND MAINLY SPORADIC EAST OF U.S. ROUTE 52. 
THE TORNADO LIFTED A ROOF OFF A CHURCH...DESTROYED A MOBILE 
HOME...RIPPED THE ROOF OFF ANOTHER MOBILE HOME...SHIFTED TWO OTHER 
MOBILE HOMES OFF OF THEIR FOUNDATIONS...TORE HALF THE ROOF OFF A 
HOUSE...DESTROYED A BARN...TORE SHINGLES AND/OR SIDING OFF OF ABOUT 
A DOZEN HOMES/MOBILE HOMES...UPROOTED OR SNAPPED OFF MANY HUNDRED 
TREES...DAMAGED OR DESTROYED SECTIONS OF SEVERAL FENCES AND KNOCKED 
DOWN SEVERAL POWER POLES.

THERE WAS ONE PERSON IN THE CHURCH WHEN THE TORNADO HIT AND HE WAS
NOT INJURED. 

EXTREME UPPER END EF1 DAMAGE WITH ESTIMATED WINDS OF 105 TO 
110 MPH WAS DETERMINED AT THREE LOCATIONS ALONG THE PATH OF THE 
TORNADO.

THIS INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE AT
WEATHER.GOV/CHS.

FOR REFERENCE...THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO
THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0...WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1...WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2...WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3...WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4...WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5...WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.

KCLX Radar Imagery with Radar Notes



Damage Photos
Waterspout over Lake Moultrie
(click image for a larger view)
Damage to church in St. Stephen
(click image for a larger view)
Damage to church in St. Stephen
(click image for a larger view)
Home damaged near St. Stephen
(click image for a larger view)
Structural damage near St. Stephen
(click image for a larger view)
Structural damage near St. Stephen
(click image for a larger view)

National Weather Service
Charleston Weather Forecast Office
5777 South Aviation Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406-6162
(843) 744-0303

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Page last modified: April 19, 2011
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