Posted by NBC12 Meteorologist Jim Duncan
Tornadoes and severe weather seem to have instilled a renewed sense of “weather” fear in many Virginians. I’ve received numerous emails from viewers frightened by the weather. The tornado outbreak a few weeks ago, coupled with the most recent strong tornado that hit Stafford are largely responsible. This is certainly understandable, but to keep things in perspective it’s helpful to remember that such tornadoes are climatologically quite rare for our area. The EF3 that hit Suffolk, and the EF2 Stafford storm are two of the strongest seen around here in many years. The fact remains that the vast majority of Virginia twisters are EF0s and occassionaly EF1s. These most frequently are also associated with decaying tropical systems that typcially hit in late summer.
The very busy severe storm season this spring over the Midwest, making frequent news headlines, has also heightened our weather fear. Again, perspective is in order. We had a very quiet storm season last year. The contrast this year is therefore stark. This is the time of year for rough weather over the Midwest, and conditions are ripe this spring following the strong LaNina pattern of this past winter. It’s not particularly odd or unusual for this to occur.