Friday, June 1, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Hampton, VA Tornado and Waterspout of 6-1-12...

A tornado and related tornadic waterspout took place in Hampton, VA during the evening hours of Friday, June 1, 2012. The photos above and below show the tornado as it was approaching Hampton in the waterspout stage (via twitter @worldcastnews):

The following video, posted on YouTube, appears to show the tornadic waterspout stage as well (note, the camera is upright once the video starts):

The following video was shot near Suffolk, VA, looking North toward Hampton.  You can see power flashes toward the end of the video as the tornado moved into Hampton.  Awesome lightning strikes are also visible from time to time:

Paul Motley caught the tornado on video as it caused damage at the Hampton Yacht Club:

So far, other than the damage to boats, etc., at the Yacht Club, there appears to be widespread damage to trees and power lines throughout the city.

Officials with the City of Hampton describe the hardest hit areas as Merrimac Shores, Park Place and the downtown area, where most of the power was out on Friday night.  They have released the following map showing their approximation as to the track of the tornado (solid black line - based on damage reports), as well as road closures as of 9am EDT on Saturday, June 2nd (click to enlarge):

Most of the structural damage that I've seen so far appears to be related to trees and/or tree limbs falling on structures, and broken windows.

Thankfully, there have been no reports of serious injuries.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Wakefield has completed their survey and have ranked the tornado EF-1 intensity.  The survey indicates that the tornado was 0.3 miles wide at its maximum width, and the path length was 3.5 miles.

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