(WTVR) – Three waves of strong and severe storms produced widespread damage across much of Virginia on Friday. Much of the damage was from powerful “straight-line winds”, but there were some reports of tornadoes.
The National Weather Service will conduct some surveys of the damage to determine where tornadoes actually touched down.
One thing to remember: straight-line winds can sometimes produce more damage than a weak tornado. A tornado’s winds are focused highest in the funnel, and the damage width may only be hundreds of yards wide.
Straight-line winds, which drop from the thunderstorm, hit the ground, and then spread out as a wide line of powerful winds. These winds can easily pass 60 mph, and sometimes achieve much higher speeds. In this case, entire neighborhoods can see widespread damage: trees & power lines down, fences destroyed & roofs damaged.
The storm reports listed on these maps were filtered by the National Weather Service to eliminate some of the multiple reports of the same storm. The points marked by a tornado are areas where trained severe storm spotters witnessed a funnel touching down. These reports are preliminary, and additional items will be added and amended in coming days.