4 Virginia tornadoes confirmed

At least four tornadoes touched down in Virginia during Tropical Storm Isaias Tuesday and the National Weather Service is looking into whether there were more.

“There are about 11 to 12 that we know of, maybe more, based on confirmed radar signatures,” NWS Meteorologist In-Charge Jeff Orrock said in an email to WTOP.

“It certainly was an eventful couple of a couple of hours,” NWS Senior Meteorologist Mike Montefusco tells WTOP.

Two tornadoes hit Suffolk — an EF1 and an EF0, according to Orrock. Suffolk is a city about 25 minutes from Norfolk.

Orrock said the weather service had surveyed four locations: two in Suffolk, one in Courtland and one in James City County.

Courtland, an unincorporated town in Southampton County that is about an hour west of Norfolk, saw an EF2 twister. Preliminary damage reports indicate the Courtland tornado had peak winds of 120 mph to 125 mph, with a path that was 15.9 miles long.

James City County saw an EF1, Orrock said.

A tweet from the NWS also indicted that a tornado may have touched down in Kilmarnock,Virginia, a town on Virginia’s Northern Neck, which borders the Chesapeake Bay.

“Well, we’ve got some additional areas to survey in the Northern Neck, in the Kilmarnock area, Matthews County, farther points north, the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, said Montefusco.

“Right now we have a handful of survey teams out there doing additional survey, so we fully expect that we’ll have additional information to pass along later on today,” said Montefusco.

Tornadoes with wind speeds of 65 mph to 110 mph are classified as either EF0 or EF1. EF2 and EF3 tornadoes are strong twisters with winds of 111 mph to 165 mph.



map of potential Virginia tornadoes
The National Weather Service released this preliminary map of potential tornadoes on Aug. 4, 2020. (Courtesy National Weather Service)

Preliminary rainfall totals indicate between 3 to 5 inches of rain fell in Virginia.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert contributed to this story.

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