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Tornadoes Strike The Western Piedmont of

North Carolina on November 15, 2006

Patrick D. Moore
NOAA/National Weather Service
Greer, SC

A mobile home is destroyed by a tornado near Statesville, NC, Wednesday evening, 15 November 2006

A tornado destroyed this mobile home along Fraley Lane, off River Hill Road, east of Statesville, North Carolina, around 11:45 pm on Wednesday, 15 November 2006. Additional images showing at least one other mobile home destroyed are included below. Image taken by Donna Swicegood and copywright by the Statesville Record & Landmark. Used by permission

A large tree crushed a garage and landed on a car east of Denver, NC, Wednesday evening, 15 November 2006

A tornado toppled this tree, which landed on and flattened the garage along Red Robin Lane, near Lake Norman, east of Denver, North Carolina, around 11:15 pm on Wednesday, 15 November 2006. Additional images of the damage in eastern Lincoln County are included below. Image courtesy of Susan Spake, Lincoln County Emergency Management. Used by permission

Author's Note: The following report has not been subjected to the scientific peer review process.

1.  Introduction
A line of thunderstorms intensified rapidly as it moved east across the 
Piedmont of the Carolinas on the evening of Wednesday, November 15, 2006.  
The line of severe storms spawned at least four separate tornadoes over 
the western Piedmont of North Carolina between approximately 1050 pm EST
(0350 UTC 16 November) and 1145 pm EST (0445 UTC 16 November).  [Note:  
all times from this point onward will be referenced to coordinated 
universal time (UTC).  To convert to Eastern Standard Time, subtract 
five hours from the UTC time.]  In addition, several reports of wind 
damage were received, stretching from Upstate South Carolina, across the 
Charlotte metropolitan area, to the Northwest Piedmont of North Carolina.  
The first tornado touched down near Cramerton, in Gaston County, damaging 
the West Cramerton Baptist Church.  Two of the tornadoes struck Lincoln 
County.  A brief touchdown occurred near the intersection of State 
Highways 16 and 73.  The other, on the western shores of Lake Norman near 
Denver, was more significant.  That tornado knocked down hundreds of 
trees, many across roads and some on homes, and was rated at F2 on the 
Fujita Scale.  The final tornado touched down in Iredell County along 
an intermittent six mile path from southeast of Statesville along 
Amity Hill Road, to east of Statesville along Bell Farm Road and River
Hill Road near the Vance community.  Several trees were knocked down 
and several mobile homes were damaged.  One mobile home was completely 
destroyed.  This particular tornado was rated at F1 and resulted in 
one injury and one fatality.
(Click here for a preliminary summary of severe weather reports 
gathered during and immediately after the event.  Note that some of 
the wind damage events were determined to be caused by tornadoes after 
a damage survey was conducted.)
Severe thunderstorm and tornado reports for the 24 hour period ending 7 am 16 November 2006
Fig. 1.  Preliminary severe weather reports for the 24 hours ending 
at 7 am EST (1200 UTC) November 16, 2006.  Note that the graphic does 
not reflect the results of the damage survey which determined that 
some of the wind damage across Gaston, Lincoln, and Iredell counties
was caused by tornadoes.  Click on image to enlarge.
The tornadoes across the western Piedmont were a part of a larger 
outbreak of severe weather across the Carolinas, which included the 
deadly Riegelwood Tornado in Columbus County and Pender County, North 
Carolina, early in the morning of Thursday, 16 November 2006.  The
events of 15 November were particularly challenging to the forecaster
because of the rapid change in convective storm mode.  In less than 
one hour, the primary threat potential changed from flooding caused 
by upslope heavy rain with embedded deep convection, to wind damage 
and tornadoes from a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS).  Fractures 
across similar QLCSs have been associated with the occurrence of weak 
tornadoes in the Carolinas, such as the Bessemer City, North Carolina 
tornado (Lane and Moore, 2006) and the Liberty and Moore, South Carolina, 
tornadoes.  The first tornado over Gaston County was associated with a 
break in the QLCS.  However, unlike other tornado-producing QLCSs 
observed across the western Carolinas (see McAvoy et al. 2000), the 
system on 15 November continued to evolve as it moved into an environment 
with increasingly favorable surface-based instability.  In the other 
local studies, after the QLCS fractured into a leading and trailing line 
segment, a gradual weakening trend of the trailing segment was observed 
as storm inflow was disrupted by the leading line segment.  However, 
this was not the case with the QLCS on 15 November 2006.
2.  Synoptic Features and Pre-Storm Environment
The atmosphere across the southeastern United States was strongly forced 
on 15 November 2006.  A strong jet streak of greater than 125 knots at 
the 300 mb level lifting out of an upper trough moving from the southern 
Plains to the Mississippi Valley (Fig. 2) provided upper divergence 
spreading east across the Carolinas at 0000 UTC on 16 November.  The 
upper low center over Oklahoma at 1200 UTC deepened as it moved to 
eastern Arkansas by 0000 UTC (Fig. 3), with strengthening winds aloft at 
the 500 mb level.  At the 850 mb level, a strong southerly low level jet 
of 40 kts developed east across the Carolinas by 0000 UTC (Fig. 4) in 
response to the deepening upper low.  A short loop of water vapor imagery 
clearly showed the upper low wrapping up across the lower Mississippi 
Valley on the evening of 15 November.
SPC 300 mb analysis at 1200 UTC 15 November 2006SPC 300 mb analysis at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 2.  Storm Prediction Center (SPC) objective analysis of 300 mb 
isotachs, streamlines and divergence at 1200 UTC 15 November (left) 
and 0000 UTC 16 November (right).  Click on images to enlarge.
SPC 500 mb analysis at 1200 UTC 15 November 2006SPC 500 mb analysis at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 3.  SPC objective analysis of 500 mb geopotential height, wind, 
and temperature at 1200 UTC 15 November (left) and 0000 UTC 16 November 
(right).  Click on images to enlarge.
SPC 850 mb analysis at 1200 UTC 15 November 2006SPC 850 mb analysis at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 4.  SPC objective analysis of 850 mb geopotential height, wind, 
and temperature at 1200 UTC 15 November (left) and 0000 UTC 16 November 
(right).  Click on images to enlarge.
At the surface, low pressure wrapping up across Arkansas early on the 
morning of 15 November moved slowly east and occluded during the day 
with a new primary low near Memphis by 1800 UTC.  The potential for
severe weather, including tornadoes, was well-anticipated across the
western Carolinas.  Weak cold air damming against the east side of the 
Appalachians was a limiting factor for severe thunderstorm development, 
which was correctly anticipated by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) 
in the Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook issued at 1628 UTC.  A coastal front 
developing in advance of the approaching warm front surged inland and 
was incorporated with the warm front across the Piedmont by late in 
the day (Fig. 5).  Even though strong shear was already in place, it 
was not clear how far inland the coastal front would penetrate into 
the cold air damming wedge and to what extent surface-based instability 
would develop across the Piedmont (SPC Day 1 Outlook issued at 2134 UTC).
In spite of the uncertainty, severe weather was still anticipated.
Surface analysis at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 5.  Hydrometeorological Prediction Center surface fronts and 
pressure analysis at 0000 UTC 16 November.  Click on image to enlarge.
3.  Pre-Storm Environment
The upper air sounding taken at Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO), at
0000 UTC 16 November showed very strong low level shear (Fig. 6), above 
40 knots in the surface to 3 km layer.  Shear of this magnitude has 
been shown to be sufficient for the development of tornadoes in QLCSs
(Weisman and Trapp, 2003).  Although instability was marginal, the 
observation was taken in the cooler air to the north and west of the 
coastal front/wedge boundary.  The upper air sounding taken at the same 
time to the south and east of this boundary at Charleston, South 
Carolina (CHS), revealed sufficient instability and the potential for 
strong updrafts with all measures of Convective Available Potential 
Energy (CAPE) above 500 J/kg (Fig. 7).  The highly-sheared environment 
across the western Piedmont of North Carolina grew increasingly 
favorable for severe thunderstorms after 0000 UTC 16 November as the 
coastal front/wedge boundary shifted westward.  An examination of 
surface observations showed that dewpoints across the Charlotte area 
jumped from the upper 40s at 2250 UTC 15 November to the lower 60s by 
0150 UTC 16 November (Fig. 8), indicative of the westward passage of 
the boundary.  Along and to the east of the boundary, an area of 
surface-based CAPE in excess of 250 J/kg lifted northward across 
South Carolina and over the southern Piedmont of North Carolina 
between 0100 UTC and 0300 UTC (Fig. 9).
Upper air sounding at GSO at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 6.  Skew-T log P diagram (upper left) and hodograph (upper right) 
for upper air sounding at GSO at 0000 UTC 16 November. The tables at 
the bottom summarize several objective parameters used by the SPC to 
determine severe weather potential.  Click on image to enlarge.
Upper air sounding at CHS at 0000 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 7.  As in Figure 6, except at CHS.  Click on image to enlarge.
Surface plot at 2343 UTC 15 November 2006Surface plot at 0243 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 8.  Regional surface observations plots at 2300 UTC 15 November 
(left) and 0200 UTC 16 November (right).  The traditional station
model is used.  Note how the dewpoint jumped and south wind increased 
at CLT as the surface boundary shifted west. Click on images to enlarge.
SPC analysis of surface based CAPE and CIN at 0100 UTC 16 November 2006SPC analysis of surface based CAPE and CIN at 0300 UTC 16 November 2006
Fig. 9.  SPC objective analysis of surface based CAPE (contours) and 
Convective Inhibition (color fill) at 0100 UTC (left) and 0300 UTC (right) 
16 November.  Click on images to enlarge.
4.  Radar Observations
A large area of moderate rain with embedded heavier showers moved 
slowly east across Upstate South Carolina at 0005 UTC 16 November,
as observed by the Weather Surveillance Radar - 1988 Doppler 
(WSR-88D) located at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (KGSP).  
Within this larger area of precipitation, a QLCS developed rapidly 
between about 0145 UTC and 0215 UTC (Figs. 10 and 11), as indicated
by the north to south band of high reflectivity (greater than 40 dBZ) 
across the east side of Spartanburg County and the east side of 
Laurens County.  The formation of a Line Echo Wave Pattern suggested 
the development of a mesoscale area of low pressure over eastern
Spartanburg County.  Wind damage was reported near Laurens as the 
line passed.  Persistent rotation along a portion of the line 
coincident with evidence of a new strong updraft over extreme eastern 
Laurens County prompted the issuance of a Tornado Warning for Union 
County, South Carolina, at 0227 UTC.  The rotational signatures 
along the rapidly developing QLCS prompted the SPC to issue 
Tornado Watch #861 at 0230 UTC.
Click here to view a 26 frame java loop of composite reflectivity from
the KGSP radar from 0045 UTC to 0246 UTC.
KGSP Composite Reflectivity at 0143 UTC 16 November
Fig. 10.  Composite radar reflectivity from the KGSP WSR-88D radar
at 0143 UTC 16 November.  The radar is located at the point labelled
'KGSP'.  Click on image to enlarge.
KGSP Composite Reflectivity at 0225 UTC 16 November
Fig. 11.  As in Figure 10, except for 0225 UTC.  Click on image 
to enlarge.
Wind damage occurred at 0259 UTC near Lockhart, in extreme eastern
Union County, South Carolina, as the QLCS passed.  The couplet of
inbound and outbound velocities traversed Union County and moved 
into southwestern York County, where an inflection point developed 
along the line by 0316 UTC.  This appeared as an "S-shape" pattern 
in the higher reflectivity seen on the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP 
radar (Fig. 12).  The storm relative motion on the 0.5 degree scan 
showed a rotational couplet coincident with the inflection point in
the reflectivity (Fig. 13).  This signature, identified as a 
mesocyclone by the WSR-88D mesocyclone algorithm, could be traced 
back along the line for over one hour.  In that sense, the signature 
was indicative of a mini-supercell embedded within the QLCS.  In this 
instance, however, the QLCS did not fracture.  Wind damage was 
reported in Sharon at 0320 UTC, but apparently this was not caused 
by a tornado.
KGSP 0.5 degree Reflectivity at 0316 UTC 16 November
Fig. 12.  Radar reflectivity on the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP 
radar at 0316 UTC 16 November.  Note the "S-shape" in the higher 
reflectivity to the southwest of Sharon. Click on image to enlarge.
KGSP 0.5 degree Storm Relative Motion at 0316 UTC 16 November
Fig. 13.  As in Figure 12, except for storm relative motion.  The 
warmer (cooler) colors represent targets moving away from (toward) 
the radar. Click on image to enlarge.
a.  The Cramerton Tornado
After 0320 UTC, the QLCS passed the midway point between the KGSP 
radar and the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TCLT) located north of 
the Charlotte - Douglas International Airport (Fig. 14).  After that 
time, the TCLT radar had an increasingly favorable view of the low 
levels of the storm as it moved closer to the Charlotte metro area, 
compared to the more distant KGSP radar.  Nevertheless, the KGSP radar 
still yielded important clues to the evolution of the system.  The 
convective line remained intact as it moved across York County through 
0328 UTC while a new weak mesocyclone developed at low levels near the 
point on the line that failed to break earlier.  It should be noted 
that the KGSP radar mesocyclone algorithm did not detect a mesocyclone 
in the storm after 0328 UTC because of the broad and weak nature of 
the circulation above the lowest elevation cut, which over central 
York County was approximately 4500 feet above ground level and 
60 miles distant.  
Click here to view a 15 frame java loop of radar reflectivity on 
the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP radar from 0303 UTC to 0402 UTC.
Click here to view a 15 frame java loop of storm relative motion on 
the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP radar from 0303 UTC to 0402 UTC.
KGSP 0.5 degree Reflectivity at 0320 UTC 16 November
Fig. 14.  Radar reflectivity on the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP 
radar at 0320 UTC.  The location of the KGSP radar is shown at the 
far left while the TCLT radar location is shown in the upper right 
edge of the figure. Click on image to enlarge.
An inflection point developed in the QLCS over northern York County at
0341 UTC with some evidence of a weak echo channel behind the segment 
of the line that bowed east into the northeast York County (Fig. 15),
although rotation was relatively weak (Fig. 16).  The weak echo channel 
was more significant on the 1.3 degree scan.  The convective line began 
to fracture at 0349 UTC as it moved across southern Gaston County, 
North Carolina (Fig. 17), but the break did not appear complete until 
0358 UTC.  The rotational signature, which had weakened as the QLCS 
moved across the state line, strengthened considerably at 0349 UTC as 
it moved toward Cramerton (Fig. 18).
KGSP 0.5 degree Reflectivity at 0341 UTC 16 November
Fig. 15.  As in Fig. 14, except at 0341 UTC.  The weak echo channel 
is indicated by the magenta arrow.  Click on image to enlarge.
KGSP 0.5 degree storm relative motion at 0341 UTC 16 November
Fig. 16.  Storm relative motion on the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP 
radar.  Click on image to enlarge.
KGSP 0.5 degree Reflectivity at 0349 UTC 16 November
Fig. 17.  As in Fig. 14, except at 0349 UTC.  Note the break in 
the high reflectivity (red shades) between Gastonia and Cramerton, 
compared to the high reflectivity line in Figure 15.  Click on image 
to enlarge.
KGSP 0.5 degree storm relative motion at 0349 UTC 16 November
Fig. 18.  As in Fig. 16, except for 0349 UTC.  Note the couplet 
of inbound and outbound velocity shown to the southwest of Cramerton.  
Click on image to enlarge.
The closer proximity of the TCLT radar allowed for better interrogation 
of low level storm features once the QLCS moved into York County.  The 
TCLT radar beam at 2.4 degrees passed through almost the exact same 
part of the QLCS as the KGSP radar at 0.5 degrees at 0341 UTC.  This 
allowed for an interesting comparison of radar features sampled 
coincidentally by two radars.  The reflectivity image from TCLT shows 
the same weak echo channel (Fig. 19) as observed by the KGSP radar
(see Fig. 15), which developed as early as 0329 UTC on the TLCT imagery.  
The storm relative motion image from TCLT shows considerably more detail, 
with a rotational velocity of 44 kts and a diameter of 0.7 miles at a 
distance of 21 miles (Fig. 20).  This equated to a strong mesocyclone.  
In contrast, the rotational velocity observed by KGSP was only 23 knots 
(see Figure 16), which at the distance from KGSP, fell on the line 
between a minimal and moderate mesocyclone.  The TLCT radar, with its 
smaller beamwidth and closer location, was able to sample the storm at 
a higher resolution, and thus detected the stronger circulation.  A 
weak echo channel could be seen developing as early as 0329 UTC on the 
0.2 degree and 1.0 degree scans.  This feature was prominent in all 
scans leading up to the time of the tornado.
TCLT base reflectivity on the 2.4 degree scan at 0341 UTC 16 November
Fig. 19.  Radar reflectivity on the 2.4 degree scan from the TCLT 
radar at 0341 UTC.  The reflectivity scale is shown in the upper
left.  The radar location is labelled TCLT.  Note the channel of 
lower reflectivity wrapping to the southeast of Clover.  Click on 
image to enlarge.
TCLT storm relative motion on the 2.4 degree scan at 0341 UTC 16 November
Fig. 20.  Storm relative motion on the 2.4 degree scan from the 
TCLT radar at 0341 UTC.  Green shades represent motion toward the 
radar and red shades show motion away from the radar.  Note the 
couplet of inbound and outbound velocity northeast of Clover.  
Click on image to enlarge.
The weak echo channel was observed on the 1.0 degree scan at 0347 UTC,
the last volume scan before the tornado touched down, but there was 
little evidence of an incipient break in the QLCS (Fig. 21).  This 
could be an artifact of the higher resolution of the TCLT radar data.  
The mesocyclone strengthened gradually through 0347 UTC (Fig. 22), and
after this time the strongest rotational velocity was observed on the 
1.0 degree scan.  Rotation reached a maximum on the 0.2 degree scan
at 0402 UTC, well after the tornado touched down.
TCLT base reflectivity on the 1.0 degree scan at 0347 UTC 16 November
Fig. 21.  Radar reflectivity on the 1.0 degree scan from the TCLT 
radar at 0347 UTC.  Note the channel of lower reflectivity wrapping 
to the northeast of Clover.  Click on image to enlarge.
TCLT storm relative motion on the 1.0 degree scan at 0347 UTC 16 November
Fig. 22.  Storm relative motion on the 1.0 degree scan from the 
TCLT radar at 0347 UTC.  Note the couplet of inbound and outbound 
velocity east of Crowders.  Click on image to enlarge.
A graph of rotational velocity observed on the lowest four elevation
scans with time revealed an unexpected result (Fig. 23).  The QLCS 
moved toward the radar, so the radar beam sampled a lower height in 
the storm with each successive scan at the same elevation.  The peak 
rotational velocity on the 2.4 degree scan was observed at 0341 UTC, 
followed by a peak on the 1.0 degree scan at 0353 UTC, and a peak on 
the 0.2 degree scan at 0402 UTC.  The approximate height above ground 
at each point was 5100 feet, 2400 feet, and 350 feet, respectively.  
This suggested the mesocyclone developed downward with time, which 
is a trait observed more often in supercell thunderstorms.  In 
contrast, other local studies of tornadic QLCSs determined that the 
mesocyclone developed upward.
Rotational velocity observed by TCLT radar
Fig. 23.  Rotational velocity observed by the TCLT radar on the 
0.2 degree, 1.0 degree, 2.4 degree, and 5.0 degree scans.  The 
purple line shows the distance from the mesocyclone to the TCLT 
radar in nautical miles, using the vertical scale on the right-hand 
side.  Click on image to enlarge.
The tornado touched down on the west side of Cramerton at 0351 UTC,
damaging the West Cramerton Baptist Church, knocking down tree limbs,
and causing minor damage to houses.  Additional wind damage was 
reported in the Lowell and McAdenville communities, although a 
tornado could not be confirmed in those locations.
b.  The Lincoln-Iredell Mini-Supercell Storm
After the split occurred in the QLCS over eastern Gaston County, 
the trailing segment of the line maintained its integrity as it 
moved north toward eastern Lincoln County.  At 0400 UTC, a surface 
warm front stretched from southwest to northeast across the northwest 
Piedmont of North Carolina (Fig. 24).  The boundary represented
the western edge of a weakly unstable air mass with a mixed layer 
CAPE of greater than 250 J/kg (Fig 25).  Storm relative helicity
in the vicinity of the boundary ranged from 400 to 500 m2/s2 in 
the surface to 1 km layer (Fig. 26).  Southeasterly wind on the 
east side of the boundary allowed for inflow unhindered by the 
leading segment of the QLCS moving eastward across Mecklenburg 
County at that time.  Although instability was limited, the low 
level shear was well within the range for supercells.
KGSP Composite Reflectivity at 0358 UTC 16 November
Fig. 24.  Composite Reflectivity for the 0358 UTC volume scan from 
the KGSP radar, with surface observation plot at 0400 UTC.  The warm 
front is indicated in red.  Click on image to enlarge.
SPC mixed layer CAPE analysis at 0400 UTC 16 November
Fig. 25.  SPC objective mesoscale analysis of 100 mb mixed layer 
CAPE (contoured, J/kg) and convective inhibition (shaded, J/kg) at 
0400 UTC. Click on image to enlarge.
SPC 0-1 km storm relative helicity analysis at 0400 UTC 16 November
Fig. 26.  SPC objective mesoscale analysis of storm relative 
helicity in the 0-1 km layer (contours, m2/s2) and storm motion 
(barbs, kt) at 0400 UTC. Click on image to enlarge.
The storm at the southern end of the trailing line segment acquired 
characteristics of a mini-supercell (as described in Markowski and
Straka 2000) as it intercepted the surface boundary over northeastern 
Gaston County and southeastern Lincoln County between 0359 UTC and 
0411 UTC.  There was evidence of a hook-like reflectivity appendage
at 0359 UTC (Fig. 27), but the radar beam appeared to be attenuated 
to some degree by the leading edge of very heavy precipitation 
associated with the leading QLCS line segment which had moved between 
the TCLT radar and the developing supercell near Lowell.  Radar echo 
tops remained under 35,000 feet owing to the weak instability.  The 
shape of the low level reflectivity resembled that of a kidney bean 
by 0411 UTC (Fig. 28), with a persistent mesocyclone observed on the 
easternmost appendage of the storm (Fig. 29).  It should be noted 
that data from the TCLT radar at the lowest elevation cut (0.2 degrees) 
were not available after 0405 UTC.  The second tornado touched down 
briefly at 0415 UTC near the intersection of State Highways 16 and 73 
north of the Lowesville community.  The third tornado touched down 
along Lake Norman near Denver, in extreme northeast Lincoln County, 
at 0422 UTC.  Unfortunately, the beam from the TCLT radar was blocked 
in the direction of the storm at the 1.0 degree elevation, so the 
structure of the storm could not be seen at that time.
Click here to view a 15 frame java loop of radar reflectivity on 
the 1.0 degree scan from the TCLT radar from 0347 UTC to 0505 UTC.
TCLT base reflectivity on the 0.2 degree scan at 0359 UTC 16 November
Fig. 27.  Radar reflectivity on the 0.2 degree scan from the TCLT 
radar at 0359 UTC.  The radar site is located over northern Mecklenburg 
County.  Note the hook-like reflectivity appendage between Gastonia and 
Mount Holly.  Click on image to enlarge.
TCLT base reflectivity on the 1.0 degree scan at 0411 UTC 16 November
Fig. 28.  Radar reflectivity on the 1.0 degree scan from the TCLT 
radar at 0411 UTC.  The kidney-bean shape of the higher reflectivity 
(greater than 35 dBZ) over eastern Lincoln County is circled in
magenta.  Click on image to enlarge.
TCLT storm relative motion on the 1.0 degree scan at 0411 UTC 16 November
Fig. 29.  Storm relative motion on the 1.0 degree scan from the 
TCLT radar at 0411 UTC.  Note the velocity couplet west of Lowesville 
corresponding to the reflectivity appendage in Figure 28.  Click on 
image to enlarge.
The storm weakened as it crossed Lake Norman around 0430 UTC, but
knocked down a few trees in the Mt. Mourne area of Iredell County.  
The supercell reintensified as it moved north-northeast into Iredell 
County after 0430 UTC.  It should be noted that although the TCLT
had a better view of the low level structure of the storms over the
Piedmont, the KGSP radar still revealed useful information for
tracking the storms, even if rotational signatures were rather 
weak.  The Vertically Integrated Liquid and Echo Tops from the KGSP 
radar increased from the 0433 UTC scan onward, indicating the main 
updraft in the storm had strengthened.  On the TCLT radar, the 
rotational velocity in the mesocyclone increased on the 1.0 degree 
and 2.4 degree scans from 0429 UTC through 0441 UTC.  A hook-like 
appendage reappeared in the reflectivity data on the 1.0 degree 
scan at 0441 UTC to the southeast of Statesville (Fig. 30), 
corresponding to the mesocyclone seen in the storm relative motion 
data (Fig. 31).  The fourth tornado touched down at 0445 UTC along 
an intermittent six mile path from five miles east-southeast of 
Statesville to six miles northeast of Statesville.  The supercell 
continued to track across the northern part of Iredell County, 
producing more wind damage northeast of Harmony around midnight.  
It should be noted that another supercell-looking storm moved 
northward across western Rowan County and western Davie County 
without producing damage.
Click here to view a 20 frame java loop of radar reflectivity on 
the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP radar from 0341 UTC to 0502 UTC.
Click here to view a 20 frame java loop of storm relative motion on 
the 0.5 degree scan from the KGSP radar from 0341 UTC to 0502 UTC.
TCLT base reflectivity on the 1.0 degree scan at 0441 UTC 16 November
Fig. 30.  As in Fig. 28, but for 0441 UTC.  Note the reflectivity 
appendage to the southeast of Statesville shown by the white arrow.  
Click on image to enlarge.
TCLT storm relative motion on the 1.0 degree scan at 0441 UTC 16 November
Fig. 31.  As in Fig. 29, but for 0441 UTC.  Click on image to 
enlarge.
5.  Summary 
A QLCS developed rapidly within a larger area of moderate rain across 
Upstate South Carolina on the evening of 15 November 2006.  The QLCS 
showed at least one "S-shape" bend in the high reflectivity that failed 
to break the convective line, and several persistent small mesocyclones
early in its lifetime.  The QLCS moved east into an environment that 
possessed an increased amount of surface-based instability across the 
western Piedmont of North Carolina.  An inflection point eventually 
developed on the QLCS that resulted in a break in the convective line 
around the time that a tornado touched down to the west of Cramerton, 
North Carolina.  An investigation of the data from the TCLT radar 
revealed a persistent mesocyclone with a lifetime of at least 20 minutes
before the tornado.  More interesting, the mesocyclone appeared to have 
developed downward, which is a trait associated with supercell 
thunderstorms and not with similar-looking QLCS tornadoes observed 
across the western Carolinas.  

The QLCS appeared to fracture over eastern Gaston County between 
0349 UTC and 0358 UTC, but unlike other QLCS splits, the trailing line 
segment did not weaken.  In this case, the trailing segment acquired 
supercell thunderstorm characteristics as it interacted with a pre-
existing warm front and uninterrupted inflow across the Northwest 
Piedmont of North Carolina.  The mini-supercell moved north-northeast 
along the warm front and spawned three additional tornadoes across 
eastern Lincoln County and Iredell County before moving out of the 
County Warning Area at 0500 UTC.

The TCLT radar was favorably located to observe the low level structure 
of the tornado producing storms.  The narrower beamwidth and closer 
range allowed the TCLT radar to detect much stronger rotation within 
the storm prior to the first tornado as compared to the KGSP radar.  
However, the TCLT data were not without limitations.  Elevation angles 
were available only up to 5.0 degrees which prevented interrogation 
of the mid and upper levels of the storms.  The 0.2 degree scans were 
not available from 0405 UTC to 0454 UTC.  The 5.0 degree scans were 
severely attenuated after 0435 UTC north of the radar in the direction 
of the supercell.  Radar algorithms were not available for TCLT, which 
might have helped issue more effective warnings in this case.  This 
capability will be added in a future software build.
Tornado damage west of Cramerton, NC, on 15 November 2006, damaging the West Cramerton Baptist ChurchTops of trees sheared off by tornado near McAdenville, NC, on 15 November 2006
Damage caused by the tornado that touched down west of Cramerton, 
North Carolina, shortly before 11 pm on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006.  
The West Cramerton Baptist Church, shown in the distance on the left 
image, sustained damage to the front doors and signs, and the steeple 
was knocked down.  The shingles in the foreground are from a nearby 
house.  The image on the right shows the tops of trees sheared off 
by the tornado.  Images taken by Vince DiCarlo, NWS.  Click on 
images to enlarge.
Tornado damage on Red Robin Lane, east of Denver, NC, on 15 November 2006Tornado damage on Red Robin Lane, east of Denver, NC, on 15 November 2006 Tornado damage along the shore of Lake Norman, east of Denver, NC, on 15 November 2006Tornado damage along the shore of Lake Norman, east of Denver, NC, on 15 November 2006
Additional images of the damage along the shore of Lake Norman along 
Red Robin Lane and Lakeshore Drive, east of Denver, North Carolina.  
Images courtesy of Susan Spake, Lincoln County Emergency Management.  
Click on images to enlarge.
Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, east of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, east of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006 Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, west of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, east of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006 Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, west of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006Tornado damage on Fraley Lane, east of Statesville, NC, on 15 November 2006
Additional images of the damage to mobile homes along Fraley Lane, 
off River Hill Road, east of Statesville, North Carolina.  Images 
taken by Donna Swicegood of the Statesville Record & Landmark.  
Click on images to enlarge.
References
Lane, J. D., and P. D. Moore, 2006: Observations of a non-supercell tornadic
	thunderstorm from a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar. Preprints, 23rd Conf. 
	on Severe Local Storms, St. Louis, MO, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

Markowski, P. M., and J. M. Straka, 2000:  Some observations of rotating updrafts
	in a low-buoyancy, highly sheared environment. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 449-461.

McAvoy, B. P., W. A. Jones, and P. D. Moore, 2000: Investigation of an unusual 
	storm structure associated with weak to occasionally strong tornadoes over 
	the Eastern United States. Preprints, 20th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, 
	Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 182-185.

Weisman, M. L., and R. J. Trapp, 2003: Low-level mesovortices within squall lines 
	and bow echoes. Part I: Overview and dependence on environmental shear. Mon.
	Wea. Rev., 131, 2779-2803. 
Acknowledgements
The author wishes to express his gratitude to Ms. Donna Swicegood of 
the Statesville Record & Landmark for her willingness to share the
images of the damage in Iredell County.  Jonathan Blaes at NWS Raleigh 
provided copies of the SPC mesoanalysis sector images.  The severe 
weather plot, upper air maps, and upper air sounding graphics were 
obtained from the Storm Prediction Center.  The surface analyses were 
obtained from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.  Satellite 
imagery and the surface observation plots were obtained from the 
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.  The imagery from 
the KGSP radar was made using the Java NEXRAD viewer obtained from 
the National Climatic Data Center.


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