Friday, February 3, 2023

F-1 tornado in Brunswick County on Wednesday tracked more than 3 miles

An F-1 tornado spanned more than 3 miles in Brunswick County. Map courtesy of the National Weather Service.
An F-1 tornado spanned more than 3 miles in Brunswick County. (Map courtesy of the National Weather Service)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Forecasters with the National Weather Service have confirmed and tracked an F-1 tornado that ripped through the Longwood area of Brunswick County on Wednesday.

According to a report from the National Weather Service (NWS), the tornado touched down at 11:53 p.m. Wednesday and lasted for about 5 minutes. The tornado’s path was 3.21 miles long with a maximum width at 60 yards and reached wind speeds of 90 mph.

The NWS survey team found initial damage to trees along a hunting trail south of Pireway Road NW, west of the town of Longwood. The tornado moved eastward across inaccessible portions of the forest before emerging near the intersection of Etheridge Road and Ash-Little River Road NW. There, the tornado snapped trees and caused significant roof damage to a home in the area.

The tornado’s path continued east on the north side of Etheridge Road, causing dozens of snapped pine trees. The tornado then crossed Etheridge Road near Gwynn Road NW, and moved into another area of pine trees, causing more damage.

A barn between Gwynn Road and ward Road NW was damaged as the tornado continued to the east. Several cars near Ward Road NW and Quaker Road NW, were also damaged.

The tornado finally shifted south of Etheridge Road between Ward Road and Cephus Trail NW.

According to the report, the survey team also found evidence of microburst winds ranging between 60 and 70 mph on the north side of Shallotte, specifically near the Shallotte Fire Training Center.

Damage at that location happened over a broad but short swath. The microburst also caused damage to a large number of vinyl fences in the community near the training center.

No fatalities and no injuries resulted from the tornado. According to the Encanced Fujita Scale, a tornado is classified as a F-1 if it reaches wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph.

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