Tornado Confirmed in Northern Virginia from Severe Weather! (Photo Credits: National Weather Service in Baltimore/ D.C. and Brandie Cantrell)
In the evening of August 11, 2017, severe storms brought damaging winds and a confirmed tornado to Northern Virginia. As you can see from the graphic above, the tornado created a swath in Broad Run, Virginia with maximum winds of 75 mph. The destruction path was 1.2 miles long and only 100 yards in width. Even though this was a relatively weak tornado, the local damage is anything but weak. Trees were uprooted and some fell on houses. An eyewitness reports seeing many trees downed on houses, power lines, and some were crossing the road. Many people were left without power due to the storms. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported from the tornado. The National Weather Service had issued a Tornado Warning when radar indicated a classic hook echo as indicated from the image below. A hook echo forms when winds are blowing in opposite directions next to each other. As a result, the radar tends to indicate rotation when the rain signature (rain is indicated by the yellow, orange and red colors) starts to follow the winds into a circulation pattern forming a “hook.” While this is clearly evident, not all tornados are as easily identifiable such as this particular scenario. Hail was also reported as being as big as a half-dollar, which can also be seen by the radar image below (hail is indicated by the purple color). Prince William County in Northern Virginia was issued a Flash Flood Warning from the same event. Eyewitnesses report Manassas, Virginia experiencing flooding.
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ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell