Last week landowner Jerry Fraley who owns much of North Mountain northeast of Gala, took the Botetourt View on a trip to see the suspected path of a small tornado on April 28. Trees for almost two miles in a wide swath were uprooted and downed directionally, culminating in a ridge of splintered trees. Fraley’s cousin was spending the night at the family cabin and heard the tremendous sound. The visitors rushed to the basement.
The BV contacted the NWS in Blacksburg through Roanoke Times Meteorologist Kevin Myatt. The NWS contacted journalist Cathy Benson who in turn initiated the contact with Fraley and the NWS. Here is the result! Yes, preliminarily, a tornado did touch down!
From the NWS Facebook this evening thanks to Community Editor Erica Myatt:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
636 PM EDT TUE MAY 31 2011
…NWS BLACKSBURG SURVEY TEAM CONFIRMS EF0 TORNADO FROM APRIL 28TH
5 MILES NORTHEAST GALA IN BOTETOURT COUNTY VIRGINIA…
LOCATION…5 MILES NORTHEAST GALA IN BOTETOURT COUNTY VIRGINIA
ESTIMATED TIME…139 TO 141 AM EST
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING…EF0
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…80 MPH
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…80 YARDS
PATH LENGTH…1.6 MILES
* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG VA HAS CONFIRMED AN EF0
TORNADO…5 MILES NORTHEAST GALA IN BOTETOURT COUNTY VIRGINIA ON
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAS JUST RECENTLY MADE AWARE OF THIS
DAMAGE…AND DISPATCHED A SURVEY TEAM TODAY.
THE SURVEY TEAM FOUND THE INITIAL TORNADO TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED
ABOUT 2 MILES NORTHEAST OF CLYDES RUN ROAD. THERE WAS AN
INTERMITTENT PATH OF DAMAGE FOR 1.6 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF THIS
POINT. NUMEROUS TREES WERE UPROOTED IN A CONVERGENT PATTERN.
FOR REFERENCE…THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO
THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:
EF0…WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1…WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2…WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3…WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4…WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5…WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.
Findings by NWS Phil Hysell.
Photos by Cathy Benson