On the morning of April 4th, a line of intense thunderstorms tore through the Peach State. Residents in one south Bibb county neighborhood were sure that a tornado twisted it's way through their community.
According to Andalusia Drive resident Ruth Burchell, "It was kind of like I woke up and there was a bunch of boom boom boom boom boom just really loud."
But what's involved in determining if storm damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds?
For the answer, we went to the Andalusia Drive area in south Macon where the National Weather Service confirmed that in fact an EF-1 tornado touched down, with winds up to 105 mph.
When working to determine if storm damage is the result of a tornado or straight line winds, rather than looking at one piece of evidence, you have to look at the big picture!
And the big picture in south Macon showed destruction in this tight knit community.
To determine the cause of damage, meteorologists will survey the area impacted, looking for patterns among the destruction. Are trees twisted? Is the damage pointing all in one direction? They will also examine radar images from the storm. Also important are interviews with residents in the impacted area.
Meteorologists also take to the sky to look at the damage from above. Notice in the picture below, all of the trees are pointing in one direction. This is indicative of straight line winds.
But in the next picture, notice the downed trees are all pointing in different directions, indicating rotation as the damage was being done.
Following their survey along Andalusia Drive, meteorologists with the National Weather Service came to their final conclusion.
According to Meteorologist Alex Gibbs with the National Weather Service, "The damage caused was very confined there was a lot of damage on one side of the path vs. the other side and that made it very clear that it was tornado damage."
A tornado that was on the ground for less than 2 minutes left behind damage and destruction that will take weeks and months to clean up.