Posted by NBC12 Meteorologist Jim Duncan
Tornado warnings were flying yesterday (Tuesday) evening for the metro area, with multiple warnings issued for a storm that rolled out of western Chesterfield, moved eastward to southeastern Henrico, then southeastward across southern Charles City County. It was confirmed as an EF0 tornado that apparently was on the ground for only a short time near the Woodlake area (Swift Creek Reservoir), and caused limited damage.
Tornado warnings, and all severe weather warnings for that matter, are issued by the National Weather Service. Our local warnings come out of the Wakefield NWS Office. They are issued when there is either an actual sighting of a funnel cloud, or (most often) a radar “signature” that one has formed within a storm. Thus, a ground touchdown does not necessarily accompany every warning. However, it is because of these advance warnings that lives are saved when truly serious weather threatens. Radar, and the expert analysis of its storm indications are the backbone of our national severe warning system.