Severe Weather Parade Ends Thursday in the East; Tornadoes, Damaging Winds Possible

April 6, 2017

Following Wednesday's outbreak of severe thunderstorms in the Southeast, the mid-Atlantic states will be under the gun Thursday with the potential for damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes as the latest severe weather siege writes its final chapter.

(MORE: Tornado Central)

Three people were injured Thursday morning, when a camper was flipped due to a possible tornado near Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Florida. Damage to homes was reported near Fort Drum, Florida, possibly from a tornado. 

Early this morning, fast-moving severe thunderstorms dumped hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter in parts of the Carolinas, including Belton, South Carolina, and Guilford County, North Carolina.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued the following severe weather watches:

  • A tornado watch is in effect until 4 p.m. EDT for parts of northeastern North Carolina, eastern Virginia and southeastern Maryland. This watch area includes Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 5 p.m. EDT for portions of Delaware, eastern Maryland, southern New Jersey, southeast Pennsylvania and northern Virginia. This watch area includes Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Current Radar with Watches, Warnings

Portions of the Washington D.C. metro area were under a tornado warning early Thursday afternoon as a dangerous squall line of thunderstorms moved through. Ground stops were put in place at both Reagan National and Baltimore-Washington International airports.

Washington Dulles International Airport measured a peak gust of 56 mph as the storms pounded the area. Winds were strong enough to blow the roof off Gonzaga High School in Washington D.C., though the National Weather Service still has to conduct a storm survey to determine whether or not the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line wind gusts.

This weather system will continue pushing east, interacting with warm and increasingly humid air, sparking additional severe thunderstorms into at least mid-Thursday afternoon.

(MORE: Latest Damage, News)

Severe Outlook


  • Severe storms are expected ahead of a strong cold front in the mid-Atlantic states, particularly in the morning.
  • Damaging wind gusts, hail and a few tornadoes will be possible with this activity, along with heavy downpours, increasing the risk of flooding.
  • We can't rule out a few thunderstorms farther north, perhaps to the New York City tri-state area in the afternoon, potentially with hail and gusty winds.
  • FORECAST: RaleighNorfolk | Baltimore | Washington, D.C.

(MORE: April's Tornadic, Dangerous Reputation)

Thursday's Thunderstorm Forecast

Round 2 Recap: Tuesday-Now

Wednesday, April 5, Recap

Wednesday, a long-track supercell thunderstorm produced damage from near Ozark, Alabama to Rentz, Georgia, over a 4.5-hour period. A large tornado damaged structures in Weston and Benevolence, Georgia.

An anticyclonic tornado, one with winds rotating clockwise as opposed to counterclockwise, was confirmed by an NWS survey team near Eminence, Kentucky, rated EF1. Anticyclonic tornadoes make up only 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. tornadoes, on average.

National Weather Service damage surveys are ongoing in several states, and additional tornadoes are likely to be confirmed.

(MORE: 2017's Most Tornado-Hit State)

At the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina, a wind gust of 68 mph was measured just before 2:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday. One person was injured in McMinnville, Tennessee, when a mobile home was destroyed by strong winds later Wednesday afternoon.

Hail up to teacup size – 3 inches in diameter – was observed in Talladega County, Alabama, Wednesday afternoon, which caused significant damage to some vehicles.

Tuesday, April 4, Recap

Tuesday night, buildings were damaged, trees were uprooted and power lines were downed in Goodman, Missouri, from an EF2 tornado. The emergency manager reported damage to the fire station and elementary school in this southwest Missouri city about 40 miles south-southeast of Joplin.

(WATCH: Aerial View of Goodman, Missouri, Damage)

Another EF1 tornado touched down briefly south of Washburn, Missouri, snapping trees and destroying a chicken house.

Round 1 Recap: Sunday-Monday

Monday, April 3, Recap

Among almost 200 reports of severe weather on April 3, the NWS has confirmed 15 tornadoes in the Deep South. Given the number of possible tornadoes, the NWS office in Peachtree City, Georgia, said storm surveys may take several days.

(NEWS: Deadly and Damaging Storms Strike the South)

Preliminary tornado reports on April 3, 2017. Note these may not necessarily correspond to the actual number/locations of tornadoes, which are determined by NWS damage surveys.

One person died Monday afternoon when a mobile home was flipped by strong straight-line winds in Union County, South Carolina.

Another person was injured from a possible tornado near Ellaville, Georgia, when a tree fell onto a house. There were about 150 trees reported down, along with two overturned tractor-trailers, in Ellaville Monday afternoon.

Two people suffered minor injuries in Columbia County, Georgia, when straight-line winds overturned a dock they were standing on Monday afternoon. Several boats at Points West Marina were damaged by the strong winds.

An EF1 tornado tore off the roof of a fire station in Carroll County, Georgia.

A tornado may have touched down in Mansfield, Georgia, on Monday, causing damage in the downtown area. No injuries were reported from the possible twister.

Near Star Mills, Georgia, trees fell on cars along Interstate 75. Injuries were reported from this incident, but the exact number is unknown.

Here are some other storm reports received Monday, as reported to local National Weather Service offices:

  • Monroe County, Georgia: As many as 30 homes with damage, 9 major and one destroyed; one family was trapped but no injuries were reported
  • Griffin, Georgia: Several homes damaged with people trapped inside
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Intersection flooded with cars stranded
  • Luverne, Alabama: Roof ripped off a warehouse; numerous power poles and power lines downed
  • St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: A pair of EF1 tornadoes from early Monday morning were confirmed by an NWS storm survey.
  • Flowood, Mississippi: Water rescues from an apartment complex
  • Near Brandon, Mississippi: Roughly 30 residents with water entering homes; two subdivisions with evacuations
  • Vicksburg, Mississippi: Mudslide across westbound lanes of Interstate 20
  • La Salle Parish, Louisiana: Numerous roads flooded, closed
  • Ward, Alabama: A tree fell on a car and injured one person.

Sunday, April 2, Recap

So far, the NWS has confirmed 17 tornadoes from April 2. Another pair of tornadoes near Center Point, Texas, and Ball, Louisiana, were sighted, but not confirmed.

Two people were killed by an EF1 tornado that destroyed their mobile home Sunday morning near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, according to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office. This tornado had maximum winds of 100 mph, according to the National Weather Service storm survey.

A tornado emergency was issued for Alexandria, Louisiana, Sunday afternoon as two reported tornadoes headed for the city. Property damage was reported, especially on the south side of the city. No injuries have been reported, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

One person was injured near Winnsboro, Louisiana, late Sunday afternoon when a tree fell onto their vehicle. There were at least 15 structures damaged in the area, including two that were destroyed. This may have been caused by a tornado, but the National Weather Service will conduct a storm survey to find out for sure.

Elsewhere, a brief tornado was reported Sunday morning well northwest of San Antonio in Center Point, Texas. Hail to the size of golf balls was observed near Buffalo, Texas, and Lafayette, Lousiana, saw hail the size of half dollars.

Sunday evening, thunderstorms stalled over parts of Louisiana and western Mississippi, leading to flash flooding in numerous locations, and at least two water rescues took place in Vicksburg, Mississippi, after 2.85 inches of rain fell in 48 minutes. In Pollock, Louisiana, some 40 percent of streets were flooded, according to the National Weather Service.

Early Sunday morning, the storms produced heavy rainfall in Del Rio, Texas, and multiple water rescues took place.

MORE: Severe Weather Outbreak Early April (PHOTOS)

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