It’s sad when you hear about a person that died from the weather. Especially when you are covering it. You try and keep people as safe as you can, but meteorologists can only do so much. Yesterday, there was a confirmed tornado on the Eastern Shore. It was rated an EF-1 tornado with estimated winds between 80 and 100mph.
The tornado moved through Cherrystone. It especially hit hard a large campground there. There were 2 deaths as a tree fell on a tent. It was a family and the child is in the hospital A very sad story.
There was a 150 yard wide path of damage. It lasted for 8 miles. One viewer sent in this photo of their camper which had been overturned.
Damage In Cherrystone
This person said that her child had been hit in the head by a branch. They are all ok according the the email, but there were numerous injuries at the park. There was also some straight-lined wind damage from the storm that stretched down to Cape Charles. Large hail also fell in the region. It made it up to about golf-ball sized.
Looking back at what happened, this was an almost worst case scenario. (a stronger tornado in the middle of the night would be THE worst case). For example, while there was some broad rotation in the storm, but it didn’t tighten up until about 2 miles from the shore. It then dropped a waterspout that moved onto land and became a tornado. With the storm moving east at 25mph, that doesn’t leave much time to warn. There was a lead time between the warning and the actual tornado. I’ve heard different numbers, but 8 minutes is the most common. Also, this happened early in the morning. This is typically our most stable time of day. In a previous blog I mentioned that the instability was actually growing at this time. Also at that time of day most folks are just waking up when they are on vacation. It was very warm and humid out. The deep humidity led to lower clouds than usual. With the localized spin this helped lead to a tornado. Finally, the area hit was one of the largest campgrounds in the region. Campers and trailers are highly susceptible to damage during severe winds, and it’s even worse during a tornado. So say a prayer for the folks that are over on the Eastern Shore today.
Aside from that we also had strong storms yesterday morning and evening in some other Virginia cities. Here are the 24 hour severe weather reports:
We also had numerous reports sent into the station. Here was one photo of a huge tree down in Hunterdale, VA.
Tree Down In Hunterdale, VA
It had to be a strong wind to be able to do that as the tree looked pretty thick. Also, I had one viewer send me a report on facebook. This is of a silo in Sedley, VA which took some major damage.
Silo Down In Sedley
There were also many reports of street flooding, lightning, and hail. The one bright spot out of all of this is that one large area got rain that needed it.
24 Hour Rain Totals
From the Peninsula northward there was over an inch of rain. About 1-2 inches in some cases. This region had missed out on a lot of the recent rain. So I am happy for them. Jan in Reedville had been hoping for rain for weeks. She got over an inch.
Today the cold front has settled to our south.
We had a cooler morning with lows in the 60s and 70s. There were a few sprinkles early, but then they moved south. High pressure will build in through the day and we’ll gradually dry things out. We’ll see highs in the low/mid 80s. Winds will be out of the north at 10mph. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows in the upper 60s to near 70. Tomorrow looks good. Skies will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper 80s. Heat will build in again by Sunday. Highs will be in the low/mid 90s. We’ll see some late day showers and storms. Storms will fire up again on Monday out ahead of another cold front. Since we’ve had this crazy pattern, I would expect more strong-severe storms. So stay tuned to the weather. There will be another batch of much cooler air over the Midwest. Behind the front, some of that will move into our region by the middle of next week.
I miss the old days of partly cloudy with a few pop up showers and storms each day during the Summer. I’m not a fan of this crazy pattern.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler