Tornado in Harriston: August 6th, 2020

Two tornadoes in Virginia now confirmed by NWS. One in Augusta and Albemarle County
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 7:34 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 11:26 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Active storms impacted the area between August 5-7th.

On Thursday afternoon, August 6th a single storm became a powerful supercell with damaging winds and that cell, was rotating as it moved from Weyers Cave, to Grottoes and Harriston.

The storm was slow moving an intensified quickly producing damaging winds and flash flooding. Several inches of rain led to flash flooding between Mt. Crawford, Fort Defiance, Mount Sidney and Verona.

Because the storm was showing signs of rotation, a tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service.

At one point the storm even developed what we call the ‘hook echo.’ This is a classic signature with a tornadic thunderstorm but just because we can see this feature, doesn’t mean there always is a tornado.

In fact the storm produce several areas of straight-line wind damage. This was more evident and visible at a corn field. You could see how the corn stalks were pressed down but laying in only one direction.

Hook echo seen on radar. You would expect the tornado to form, or try to form in the little...
Hook echo seen on radar. You would expect the tornado to form, or try to form in the little notch of green between Battlefield Rd and Rockfish Rd.(WHSV)

Today, the National Weather Service has now concluded that the storm did drop a tornado. This tornado was rated an EF-0 wit winds of 80mph. The tornado touched down on Hatchery road in Augusta County. The tornado then moved over route 340 to the Jollett Springs Mobile Home Park. Numerous large trees came down, in addition to power lines and power poles. In addition to the tornado there was straight line wind damage in the area as well and this can be seen in corn crop fields.

Total path, 2.6 miles.

This storm crossed over Skyline drive and then the storm dropped another ED-0 tornado in Earlysville in Albemarle county. The tornado here was very quick and only traveled 0.1 miles.

This makes now 12 confirmed tornadoes in Augusta county since 1950. Harriston was previously hit by an F-2 tornado in April of 1952.

Here are some photos of damage from August 6th, 2020. The storm summary from the National Weather Service is at the bottom of this page.

Harriston tornado. August 6, 2020
Harriston tornado. August 6, 2020(NWS)

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