Macroburst and two tornadoes in Hampshire county from storms on 7-12-2022
ROMNEY, WV. (WHSV) - The National Weather Service has completed a storm survey on this line of storms.
A powerful line of storms on Tuesday, July 12th moved through the Potomac Highlands and into the northern Shenandoah Valley. Severe severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for this exceptionally powerful line of storms. In fact the severe thunderstorm was upgraded as the line of storms intensified and the warning was reissued with the ‘destructive’ tag and winds of 80mph plus 2.50″ hail was possible in addition to a tornado. This is a uniquely rare severe thunderstorm warning for our area.
It’s often a common thought that ‘the damage is so bad, it must have been a tornado.’ Severe thunderstorm wind damage is much more common than a tornado and in this case, both confirmed tornadoes traveled less than a 1/2 mile and were on the ground for a minute.
The severe thunderstorm wind damage was a path of more than 23 miles and lasted for about 45 minutes. Severe thunderstorm winds can exceed 100mph and produce devastating damage.
Thousands of power outages were reported along with damage and numerous trees down from Grant county, to Frederick and Shenandoah Counties.
In Hampshire County, significant damage was reported at the Arnold Farm which is south of Romney.
There were also several reports of hail covering the ground and even hail as large as golf balls in the Kirby, WV area as well as Rio.
With all of this damage in such a widespread area the National Weather Service did complete a storm survey.
So what was confirmed? A macroburst and two tornadoes.
What is a macroburst? This is the same thing as a microburst, but a macroburst is going to be larger, and that’s larger than 2.5 miles and can lead to winds as strong as 130 mph. That’s damage up to about an EF-3 tornado and a macroburst can last several minutes, even as long as 5-20 minutes.
(A microburst is less than 2.5 miles wide and can contain winds up to 168mph)
The macroburst in Hampshire county had a path of 23 miles long and 9 miles wide. This damage was to trees as well as several properties and roughly stretched from Romney/Rt. 50 in Hampshire county south to the Hardy county line. The damage was as far east as Great North Mountain on the WV/VA state line but addition storm damage continued east into the northern Shenandoah Valley.
Hampshire County Macroburst:
Wind Speeds: 60-105 mph
Path Length: 23 miles
Path Width: 9 miles
Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 S
tart Time: 3:34 PM EDT
End Time: 4:13 PM EDT
Part of the NWS storm survey:
Sporadic tree damage was noted as far west as Purgitsville, but more appreciable damage began in the vicinity of the South Branch of the Potomac River several miles to the south of Romney, WV.
Significant tree damage associated with the bowing portion of the storm extended south from the Arnold farm (EF-0 at the farm, details below) along South Branch River Road for about four miles. Within this stretch of damage, entire corn fields were leveled just to the south of Trough View Road. The storm continued eastward over Nathaniel Mountain and progressed into the valley between Nathaniel Mountain and Short Mountain.
Significant tree damage was observed throughout this valley over a several mile long swath in the north-south direction (storm motion and winds were to the east). The most impressive damage in this valley was observed just north of Kirby.
Numerous trees were either snapped or uprooted, and a high level of defoliation was observed on any trees that remained due to wind driven hail.
Two-inch diameter hail was observed near Kirby, and accumulating golf ball sized hail was observed near Hampshire Gas Company off of Grass Lick Road. Significant hail damage to cars occurred at Hampshire Gas Company.
A personal weather station recorded a wind gust to 102 mph just to the north of Hampshire Gas Company
The storm then progressed up and over Short Mountain, then eastward toward Delray. Within the valley, sporadic tree damage was observed as far north as around 4 miles north of Delray, but much more significant tree damage was observed from Delray southward to Rio (5 mile distance).
This damage was maximized in a community to the west of Route 29 about 1.5 miles south of Delray, with extensive damage noted along both Wild Dog Pass and Buck Run. Numerous healthy trees were snapped and uprooted within this neighborhood, some of which fell on structures and vehicles.
Some roads in this neighborhood were inaccessible due to downed wires and snapped power poles. Most of the damage in this community was determined to be as a result of straight line wind damage, but one residence on Buck Run had damage that was determined to be tornadic (details below).
Finally, the storm progressed up and out of the North River Valley and crossed another range of mountains before progressing into the Cacapon River Valley. Here, numerous trees were snapped and uprooted in Yellow Spring, Capon Lake, and Capon Springs. The scope of this survey ended at the West Virginia/Virginia line in eastern Hampshire County, but the same bowing storm continued eastward in a less intense state, producing more sporadic damage nearly all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
While there was other damage reported in Grant, Hardy, Shenandoah and Frederick counties, the macroburst was pretty confined to Hampshire county. A 63mph gust was recorded in Strasburg.
TWO TORNADOES CONFIRMED (Hampshire County)
Glebe, WV tornado: Rating: EF-0 (Arnold Farm)
Estimated Peak Wind: 85 mph
Path Length: 0.4 miles
Path Width: 30 yards
Extensive damage was done to a farm along Arnold Farm Lane by an EF-0 tornado. Several snapped trees were noted in a treeline a couple hundred yards to the west of the farm. An open faced barn was destroyed. As this occurred, the roof of the barn was projected into the top of a silo, severely damaging the silo. A portion of a roof on another barn was dislodged, and the roof on the farmhouse was peeled up, but not removed. This damage was focused in a very narrow area with little damage on either side. This tornado was on the ground for one minute.
Delray, WV Tornado: Rating: EF-1
Estimated Peak Wind: 100 mph
Path Length: 0.25 miles
Path Width: 50 yards
One residence on Buck Run had damage that was determined to be tornadic. Downed trees fell across each other in a few spots on this property, and a video recorded on the property showed a closed circulation that passed through which coincided with the maximum winds. Extensive damage was also noted at a residence just to the south of Wild Dog Pass along Route 29.
A load bearing pillar of the house was blown out by the wind, and a large enclosed trailer was blown up and over a vehicle, then about 100 yards down a hill. In addition to the winds and the brief tornado, two inch diameter hail was observed in Delray.
With these two tornadoes confirmed, that brings the total tornado count for Hampshire county to 4. These records go back to 1950.
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