Tornadoes Associated with Hurricane Bertha - July 12-13, 1996

Hurricane Bertha made landfall in the Wilmington, NC area as a strong Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 MPH. Bertha swept northward and weakened to a tropical storm while crossing the Virginia-North Carolina border. Bertha produced a swath of 5 confirmed tornadoes across eastern Virginia and the lower Maryland eastern shore between 2200 through 0400 local time. Tornadoes touched down in Smithfield (Isle of Wight).... Hampton.... Gloucester Point (Gloucester) and Northumberland counties in Virginia and Dorchester county in Maryland. The strongest tornado, rated a strong F1 on the Fujita scale, touched down in Northumberland county shortly after 0030 LT. Nine persons were injured as a result of this tornado. The radar image above shows a Doppler Radar Storm Relative Velocity (SRM) product from 0449 UTC or 0049 LT over West-Central Northumberland county. The Green/Cool colors indicate motion toward the radar (inbound) velocities) while the Red/Hot colors indicate motion away from the radar (outbound velocities). The coupled inbound - 36 KT/outbound -48 KT velocities imply a rotation on the order of 40-45 KT associated with this storm.