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National Weather Service begins surveying storm damage across the Mid-South

VIEWER PHOTO: “My father took this. The trees are on the shore of Reelfoot Lake" 
Submitted to...
VIEWER PHOTO: “My father took this. The trees are on the shore of Reelfoot Lake" Submitted to WMC by Brandon Deason(WMC)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 7:56 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2021 at 8:16 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The National Weather Service (NWS) in Memphis announced Sunday morning they have begun to survey the damage left from the storms Friday night into Saturday morning.

When tornadoes occur, NWS meteorologists are assigned the task of completing a thorough damage survey.

A survey team’s mission is to gather data in order to reconstruct a tornado’s life cycle, including where it occurred, when and where it initially touched down and lifted (path length), its width, and its magnitude.

It should also be mentioned that survey teams are occasionally tasked with determining whether damage may have been caused by straight line winds or a tornado and assessing the magnitude of straight line winds.

This survey work can take several days before their official report will be available.

A NWS Meteorologist (who works at a separate office from NWS Memphis) explains why it takes time, and asks for residents to be patient with them:

Check back often for updates as the First Alert Weather Team gets updates from the NWS.

For more in depth detail out the survey process, check out Surveying Storm Damage: A Day in the Life of a Storm Survey Meteorologist (from 2016) featuring Gary Woodall, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Memphis, Tennessee.

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