Saturday's severe weather outbreak in the Carolinas and Virginia was completely out of the ordinary. Don't get me wrong - April & May are the most active severe weather months every year.
Just not here.
April & May often bring intense severe weather outbreaks to the Plains, or "Tornado Alley" as we so often call it. Our typical severe weather season in the Valley is June & July - sometimes lingering into the beginning of August.
As expected, this year is turning heads when it comes to severe weather. Some of the most active days in 10 years are being recorded as 2-3 day long outbreaks race across the country.
This weekend's outbreak, April 15-17, has claimed the lives of over 40 people from the Midwest to the East Coast, despite all the advanced warning and technology.
Three tornado warnings were issued in the Shenandoah Valley & Potomac Highlands on Saturday, with one confirmed tornado in Stuarts Draft. It was rated at EF-1 tornado, with maximum winds of 95 mph, a path 4 miles long and width 300 yards wide. This is the third confirmed tornado since I began working at WHSV in May 2008. The difference?... all other confirmed reports were during our typical severe weather season of June & July and were all rated EF-0. I'm hoping this is the only confirmed tornado of this season.
While I know I repeat myself a lot with safety information, I cannot stress how important it is to heed the information given during these storms. If you ever have any questions about safety information, do not hesitate to email/call the newsroom or weather department at WHSV. We're here to keep you safe!