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Another tornado forms in the mountains, disproving age-old myth

It is a common myth that tornados do not happen in the mountains, but that actually is not true.
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 1:43 AM EDT
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They age-old myth that tornadoes can’t form in mountainous areas has been been debunked time and time again. Just in the past 5 years, we have seen at least 3 that have formed in and around the mountains. While tornadoes are much more common in flatter terrain, the mountains certainly don’t “protect” us from these violent acts of nature. In fact, in some cases, mountains may help them form.

Research from Virginia Tech graduate student Kathryn Prociv has shown how certain terrain features, specifically mountains, can have a significant impact on storm rotational intensity. In some cases, storms coming down the sides of the mountains may actually enhance low-level rotation. This may have been the case with the Carroll County storm Wednesday night.

Post-storm analysis conducted by Chief Meteorologist Brent Watts and the WDBJ7 Weather Team showed the storm made its way up the mountain and over the Blue Ridge Parkway in Carroll County. The storm then moved down the other side of the mountain and headed toward Route 58. When that happened, the storm reached its maximum spin between Gladesboro and Laurel Fork, where the observed damage occurred.

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