Straight-line winds the cause of damage in Bedford County following Saturday storms

National Weather Service in Blacksburg says damage was caused by very strong straight-line wind gusts Saturday

Storm damage in Thaxton, Virginia after severe weather rolled through on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Photo: Glenda Malzi (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

THAXTON, Va.Crews in Bedford County spent part of the day Monday cleaning up after a severe storm caused damage to trees and powerlines in Thaxton.

10 News asked the National Weather Service in Blacksburg if a storm survey would be conducted Monday.

They said Monday evening that, upon investigation by Emergency Management in Bedford County, the storm damage was ruled straight-line and not tornadic.

The direction in which trees are laying will oftentimes help in determining whether or not a storm was tornadic.

In this case, Bedford County emergency managers more-than-likely saw a divergent tree pattern rather than twists and turns.

How damage differs between a downburst and a tornado

The downbursts or microbursts that cause this kind of damage can be just as strong as (if not stronger than) a tornado.

As hot, humid air rises, it condenses into a cloud and grows taller. These water-loaded storms collapse, and that downward force can send trees downward and outward.

How a downburst/microburst forms

For updates on future storms, be sure to download our free 10 News and weather apps. Here, you can send us your storm reports, pictures or videos through Pin It.


About the Author

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.

Recommended Videos