Looking back: Three years since six tornadoes ripped through Southwest, Central Virginia

The strongest was the EF-3 that moved from Timberlake to Elon

Aerial photo of EF-3 tornado damage in Elon, VA
Aerial photo of EF-3 tornado damage in Elon, VA

ROANOKE, Va. – The weather is very calm compared to what we were tracking on this day three years ago when multiple tornadoes moved through southwest and central Virginia.

The strongest was an EF-3 twister that traveled nearly 26 miles from Timberlake to Elon, causing millions of dollars in damage and resulting in a dozen injuries.

Tornado stats for the Elon/Timberlake tornado of 2018

There were five other tornadoes that day.

Four were of EF-1 strength, and one was an EF-0. Most of these were east of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but there was one in Craig County. This once again debunks the myth that mountains completely protect us from these kinds of storms.

Six tornadoes on April 15, 2018

That’s especially the case when the weather pattern was as favorable as it was for tornadoes to occur. Below is the map drawn from surface observations.

Surface map archive of the April 15, 2018 tornado outbreak

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