Virginia isn't exactly tornado alley, especially in this part of the state where the mountains do a pretty good job of disrupting storms moving west to east. Nevertheless, Virginians seem to have a new appreciation for the danger brought on by severe weather. Last year, 51 tornadoes were reported across the Commonwealth. That's the second highest annual total on record. Communities like Nathalie, Pulaski, Virgilina and Glade Springs all know from experience what it's like when a twister comes roaring through town. Sadly, 10 Virginians lost their lives in 2011 due to tornadoes.
As part of recognizing tornado awareness in Virginia, the ABC 13 Weather team produced and aired a 30 minute special report this past Tuesday to coincide with the Statewide Tornado Drill. Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette, along with Matt Ferguson, Lyndsay Tapases and Mike Goldberg provided in-depth reports on topics such as regional trends particular to Virginia, how tornadoes form, along with a closer look at watches and warnings. They also probed tornado safety and what we do at ABC 13 to get the word out when storms roll in.
When our special report aired at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, our part of the state was experiencing not tornadoes, but heavy rain, hail and intense lightning. So much so that some of you lost power or lost television reception and were unable to view our program. In response, WSET has decided to re-air "Storm Warning: Preparing for Tornado Season" this coming Sunday March 25 at 5:30 p.m. In addition, the entire program is posted for viewing on our website at: http://www.wset.com/story/17211423/storm-warning-preparing-for-tornado-season
Thanks to all you for your positive response to this program and the work of the ABC 13 Weather team to keep you informed. Sean, Matt, Lyndsay and Mike understand and appreciate the awesome responsibility they have to get the word out and keep you safe. It's part of our ongoing promise to deliver weather coverage you can count on.