Tornadoes Batter Southern West Virginia, Over Three Times State Average

On April 9th, the National Weather Service increased the amount of tornadoes from severe thunderstorms recently in southern West Virginia to seven. This is more than three times the state’s annual average.

From 1993 until 2022, two tornadoes were recorded per year in West Virginia. In 1998, fifteen tornadoes were reported.

Shinnston, West Virginia, was hit by one of the worst tornadoes in American history on June 23, 1944. The storm killed around 103 people and injured 430 more.   An F4 tornado was a component of an outbreak that affected the Appalachian area.

According to the meteorological service, five tornadoes occurred in Kanawha County. Two additional tornadoes were verified during storms on April 2nd. Tornadoes were also reported in Fayette County and near the county boundary between Wayne and Campbell. Each tornado had speeds of 130 mph or below, and no fatalities were recorded. Forty thousand people were without power.

Most of the over 1,600 tornadoes that happen yearly worldwide strike in the US.

Even while tornadoes are more common in a broad region of the central US known as Tornado Alley, tornadoes may still strike any area of the country. Tornadoes strike the Southeast with comparable regularity.

The severity of tornadoes is rated by meteorologists using the Enhanced Fujita scale. Wind speeds and associated damage are used to rate the storms from EF0 to EF5, with EF5 having winds of more than 200 mph. Tornadoes in the United States often fall into the EF0 and EF1 categories since their wind speeds are less than 110 mph. The devastation that even little storms may inflict is substantial. Since 2012, storms with an EF0 or EF1 rating have caused nearly a billion dollars in property damage.

Homes may be leveled by storms with a force of EF4 or greater.

Flying debris is the leading cause of fatality by a tornado, accounting for around 71 deaths annually.