ROANOKE, Va. – While sunshine and high wind gusts dominated Sunday's weather, it was quite the different story on February 24, 2016. This is when two tornadoes moved through the StormTeam 10 viewing area.
One was an EF-1 tornado in Ararat. The other was a more powerful EF-3 tornado that moved through Evergreen in Appomattox County. This one, unfortunately, left one dead and seven others injured.
Wind speeds in an EF-1 can range from 86-110 mph, while wind speeds in an EF-3 can range from 136-165 mph.
The tornado in Evergreen was ruled to have maximum wind speeds of 140-145 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg. This wound up damaging more than 100 homes on its 17-mile trek.
Just two years later, we became witness to yet another EF-3 tornado in our area. This time, it was the April 15, 2018 tornado that went from Timberlake to Elon.
EF-3 tornadoes are rare in this part of the country, especially in the month of February. Before February 24, 2016, there were only six tornadoes that happened in our area in the month of February. None of those were EF-3 (again, up until the Evergreen tornado). Lastly, the National Weather Service says that this was only the third tornado on record in Appomattox County.
If you'd like to see the full report and analysis of these storms, the National Weather Service has it available to the public here.