A NWS survey team finds that the storm damage from yesterday's storms in Cherokee county is consistent with an EF-0 tornado with 80mph winds. The preliminary report shows that the path of the tornado was 3 miles long. The storm started approximately 1.75 miles northeast of Waleska and ended 4.5 miles northeast of Waleska. See details in the full report below.
The survey team also investigated the storm damage in Polk county. The concluded that the damage at the Polk Medical Center in Cedartown was consistent with straight line winds of 80mph. The Medical Center had minor structural damage with some awnings blown away from the building. It also had some minor roof damage.
An EF-0 tornado is at the lowest end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale. EF-0 tornadoes have a range of wind speeds of 65-85mph. This storm was at the high end of the EF-0 scale. Click here for more info on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
USA TODAY also offers some information on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Here is the full report from the NWS:
...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 01/11/14 FOR CHEROKEE COUNTY TORNADO EVENT...
OVERVIEW...AFTER BEING JUST FOUR DAYS REMOVED FROM ONE OF THE
COLDEST OUTBREAK IN YEARS...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS MOVED THROUGH THE
AREA DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF SATURDAY THE 11TH. WITHIN
THE LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS WERE EMBEDDED CIRCULATIONS CONSISTENT
WITH THAT OF A DEVELOPING TORNADO. THE STRONGEST OF THESE
SIGNATURES ON RADAR DID INDEED PRODUCE A TORNADO OVER NORTHERN
CHEROKEE COUNTY WITH DETAILS BELOW.
.CHEROKEE COUNTY TORNADO...
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 80 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 3 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 10 YARDS
START DATE: JANUARY 11 2014
START TIME: 737 AM
START LOCATION: 1.75 MILES NE WALESKA
START LAT/LON: 34.33281756/-84.52856237
END DATE: JANUARY 11 2014
END TIME: 741 AM
END LOCATION: 4.5 MILES NE WALESKA
A BRIEF EF-0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN CHEROKEE COUNTY, GEORGIA ON
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 2014 JUST AFTER 730 IN THE MORNING. ALTHOUGH
THE TOTAL PATH WAS 3 MILES...THE TORNADO SKIPPED ALONG THE GROUND
AS THE DAMAGE WAS SPORADIC. SEVERAL TREES WERE DOWNED ALONG A PATH
THAT STRETCHED 1.75 MILES NE OF WALESKA TO 4.5 MILES NE OF
WALESKA. IN ADDITION TO THE DOWNED TREES...A FENCE NEAR THE
STARTING POINT OF THE TORNADO WAS DAMAGED WHEN A LARGE TREE FELL
EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE
EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH