NWS survey finds EF-1 damage in yesterday’s killer tornado
The National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia discovered EF-1 tornado damage in Cherrystone, Virginia yesterday, leading to two deaths and dozens of injuries.
Two people were killed and at least 36 were injured (one critically) The NWS survey said in its official report, released late yesterday, that the tornado lasted 15 minutes between 8:25 am ET and 8:40, traveling about eight miles (some over water) before lifting on the eastern end of the narrow strip of land that encompasses the Virginian portion of the peninsula.
The deadly destruction occurred at the Cherrystone Campground near Cape Charles, VA along the Delmarva Peninsula. The peak winds of the tornado reached EF-1 caliber, the second-lowest of the six scales of the Enhanced Fujita scale for measuring tornado strength, with the survey team finding winds ranging from roughly 80 to 100 miles an hour. While it might’ve been the second-weakest on the EF scale, think about it this way: the nastiest of non-tornadic severe thunderstorms will typically produce wind gusts ranging from 60 to 75 MPH. So rotating winds of 80 or more MPH (hurricane-force, by the way) will do extremely significant damage, as unfortunately evidenced yesterday.
The storm also unfortunately added to the nationwide tornado death total in July, making it six deaths (four people died on July 8th in a Smithfield, NY tornado) so far this month, the deadliest July for tornadoes since 1978.
Severe weather could return to the area by Monday as a cold front makes its way through the mid-Atlantic. We’ll keep you posted with the latest.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi