5/14/06 DISC: NC / VA

Dan Robinson


I'm posting this on behalf of Bill Coyle. Bill sent me his raw video from just south of Edenton, North Carolina on Sunday, and I cranked up the contrast of this heavily rain-wrapped feature in Premeire. Above is a screen grab. Here is the clip, a full-screen MPEG, 13.5MB:


Motion near the surface doesn't look violent, but is definately fast and suspicious. Differential motion is also visible at cloud base. What's your verdict? I'm leaning toward tornado, but I'm curious as to others' thoughts. Here are Threat Net grabs at the approximate time of this feature. The view is from Highway 64, the road just south of the meso indicators.


Based on the video, you'd have to say it's a tornado. Though the contrast is poor, it's clear that scud/dirt is rising VERY fast into the wall cloud, a little too fast for just normal scud tags. In addition, the LCL heights/ambient moisture profiles were not too favorable for cloud development that close to the ground, even in downdrafts. There seems to be little evidence of a RFD/downdraft that would promote scud development, but it's hard to tell because its so dark.

Given the location, amount of 0-1km SREH that far E at the time he captured it, I think it's most certainly a tornado. Also, as Dan pointed out, there is clearly differential motion between the "tornado" and the base of the updraft. VERY nice catch Bill!!!
I had though the compressed original video clip looked suspicious. After the contrast adjustment and comparison with radar images, local conditions and Bill's placement, I think that is a tornado. I also say congratulations! I was watching the radar images at that time and the storm looked too good not to have a visable tornado.

A very rare catch for East Coast chasers.

Bill Hark