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Strong cold front leads to storm damage reports in several states

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A mild air mass across the deep south, southeast, and mid-Atlantic allowed for strong thunderstorms along a spring-like frontal system.

Tornadoes were reported across states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina. An EF2 tornado producing 130 mph winds tore through a high school, leaving nearly 200 students without a school Monday morning.

In the Two Virginias, we had multiple storm reports of trees down, houses damaged, and fences ravaged.

In Burke's Garden, VA, a strong line of storms damaged a home, trees, fences, and even a bee colony.

One of the homeowners Joe Nicholson said he was happy that everyone was okay, and they will rebuild the house.

"We can rebuild and plant more trees. We were lucky nobody was hurt", sad Nicholson.

In Cool Ridge, WV (Raleigh County), a roof blew off a home and filled the backyard with the roof and other debris. Eight people were inside the home at the time the roof flew off, and nobody was injured according to the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department.

All the damages across our viewing area were attributed to strong straight-line winds, which we sometimes refer to as microburst.

Every thunderstorm has an updraft, which is an upward movement of air. This updraft suspends ice particles and hail into the thunderstorms. We call this precipitation loading. However, eventually the precipitation gets too heavy for the updraft, and it falls out of the cloud.

Sometimes dry air will form around the system, allowing for what we call evaporative cooling. Cool air wants to sink as well because it is more dense than warm air.

Eventually all the precipitation whether it be rain or hail can fall out at one time, and this causes a downdraft. All the air hits the surface, spreads out, and can produce some really strong winds.

So far, there are no reports of injuries across our viewing area from these severe storms over the weekend.

Brandon Lawson

Weekend Meteorologist

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