The only local tornado in November

November tornado
November tornado(whsv)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:14 PM EST
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STUARTS DRAFT, Va. (WHSV) - You may not think of severe weather in the month of November but this is part of the secondary peak severe weather season, which is in the fall through the winter however this typically affects the Gulf coast, Ohio Valley and Southeast. Tornadoes in Virginia in November is not common but they can happen during any month. On Nov. 29, 1963, a tornado touched down in Stuarts Draft.

November 29, 1963
November 29, 1963(whsv)

According to reports from the Newsleader, the day started with rain and then sunshine broke out. This would aid in increasing instability. So another storm formed.

Just after 2:00 in the afternoon, a rotating storm formed and a tornado touched down, between Stuarts Draft Highway and Draft Avenue.

According to the National Weather Service (known as the Weather Bureau at the time), the tornado was on the ground for roughly a mile.

The winds were estimated between about 110 and 150 mph, making it a F-2 tornado.

From the National Weather Service
From the National Weather Service(NWS)

The tornado reportedly nearly leveled a home under construction. That home was nearly finished on the outside and it was the inside of the home that still needed most of the work. That home was owned by Lawrence Brooks. The roof was torn off and thrown about 75 feet away. The tornado damaged several other homes and uprooted trees. Several outbuildings were damaged as well.

Another home owned by Walter Pannell, had the roof torn off and the porch blown off from the home. The roof on the home of Harold Fretwell was also ripped off during the tornado. Mr. Fretwell also has a few outbuildings damaged or destroyed.

Many lost power from the storm.

After the tornado, rain that evening turned to some snow flurries! That tornadic storm was part of a very strong cold front that came through.

Peak tornado season in Virginia is from April to September however tornadoes have been recorded in every month in the state of Virginia.

The Newsleader. (Staunton, VA) Sunday December 1, 1963
The Newsleader. (Staunton, VA) Sunday December 1, 1963(Newspaperarchive.com)