Line of Severe Thunderstorms Bring Damaging Winds and One Tornado to the Area April 4th-5th, 2011

A strong cold front worked across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys Tuesday evening, April 4th, crossing through our area during the early morning hours of April 5th. A line of thunderstorms in Kentucky weakened as they crossed the Central Appalachians. Another line of thunderstorms was pushing across Southeast Tennessee into the Smokys late in the evening of the 4th. As they moved into North Carolina, the storms were racing northeast along the line at 55 to 65 mph. Plenty of wind speed and enough unstable air moved into Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina to produce severe thunderstorms with mainly damaging winds occurring east of the Blue Ridge. The line of storms raced east and out of the area around 4:00 AM. One storm produced a tornado near Ararat in Surry County. See map below.

The summary of the tornado is below the map.

Our severe weather event was one of many across the eastern half of the country during this time. The Storm Prediction Center has a preliminary summary/blog about it here.



View Surry County, NC EF1 Tornado April 5, 2011 in a larger map

...TORNADO CONFIRMED NEAR ARARAT IN SURRY COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA...

LOCATION...ARARAT IN SURRY COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA
DATE...APRIL 5 2011
ESTIMATED TIME...1:25 AM EDT
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF1 
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...90-100 MPH 
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...250 YARDS 
PATH LENGTH...2.7 MILES 
BEGINNING LAT/LON...36.39511N / -80.572086W NEAR THE INTERSECTION
OF ARARAT ROAD AND LITTLE MOUNTAIN CHURCH ROAD
MOVEMENT...EAST-NORTHEAST
ENDING LAT/LON...36.410874N / -80.528064W ON SCOOTER ROAD JUST
SOUTH OF ARARAT ROAD 
ESTIMATED DAMAGE...35 TO 40 HOMES...$560,000

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
STORM DATA.

...SUMMARY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG VA HAS CONFIRMED A
TORNADO NEAR ARARAT IN SURRY COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA ON APRIL 5 2011.
MANY THANKS TO THE SURRY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOR THEIR
ASSITANCE DURING THE DAMAGE SURVEY. 


FOR REFERENCE...THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO
THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0...WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1...WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2...WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3...WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4...WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5...WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.