Severe Weather From TodayJuly 24th, 2014 at 2:02 pm by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
I won’t lie…This morning was rough. Storms fired up early and produced severe weather across the region. A cold front entered the region and kicked off numerous downpours. There was a very humid airmass out ahead of the boundary. Temperatures were already very warm in the upper 70s to near 80. There was some instability, but it wasn’t off the charts. In fact…there was no smoking gun for this morning. Through the early morning hours there was no slight risk for severe weather from the Storm Prediction Center. It was upgraded by mid morning, but that was about the time of the damage on the Eastern Shore. The computer models did not pick up on the earliness of the storms. I will say that there were a couple things that favored strong storms. There was some upper level wind support. It was decent for this time of year. Plus, the instability was growing despite the early time of day. The cold front provided a focus for storms, and the cloud decks were very low due to the deep humidity. As a few of the storms started they produced heavy rain to our west, but there were no warnings initially.
By about 8:30 am one of the storms moved from the Middle Peninsula across the Chesapeake Bay. As it did so, it gained a lot of strength. Before it reached the Eastern Shore there was a severe thunderstorm warning for one of the inland storms. So we started to focus on that. The radar had already showed an area of strong reflectivity over the Bay storm. This was a sign of heavy rain and hail. However, there wasn’t much rotation as it was over the Bay. About 1-2 miles offshore it did pick up the rotation, and it did likely form a waterspout. At it moved over land it likely became a tornado. The National Weather Service is working to confirm this as I type.
The rotation moved right over Cherrystone and Cheriton, VA. There was a brief spinup, and then the rotation dissipated shortly after those towns. There was a lot of damage to a camp ground in Cherrystone. There was also some large hail reported. Again, there wasn’t a lot of time to warn folks as the storm really took shape just offshore. There was a marine warning for over the Bay for mariners. Unfortunately, there were some deaths. Here’s the story so far: Eastern Shore.
Storms continued a while longer. The front slowly slipped southward, and temperatures dropped.
We’ll still see scattered showers and storms this afternoon into the evening. A few storms will be strong over northeast North Carolina, but the storms shouldn’t be too bad for the rest of the region. Heavy rain will still be possible. The models do show that. There’s a lot of storm reports coming in, but I haven’t see many photos of the actual tornado. I have seen one possible photo, but no others. We’re trying to confirm. We’ll have more updates this evening. We will see a nice day tomorrow. I think we all need it at this point.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler