Yesterday Northern Virginia was beset with numerous tornadoes. Thankfully they weren't any stronger than F0. They came as a complete surprise to me.
I've lived in the depths of Tornado Alley so I'm familiar with signs. However I thought we were merely having an ordinary thunderstorm. In fact, I was enjoying watching the storm from the basement picture window (the basement walks out into the backyard) while I was folding laundry.
Suddenly I saw two parts of our copper roof from the living room blow into the backyard while I saw a giant trampoline slam into our fence. We get a lot of winds around here which come in all forms, sometimes straightline and other times rotational, so there was nothing definitive in the winds at this point. Neither was the sky gravely dark or eerie.
Shortly after that I heard hail. Thankfully it was only the size of peas. With hail often comes tornadoes...so that was my first alert.
I went upstairs to my computer to look at the radar on my laptop. I accessed the radar on weather underground where I saw a hook echo. That was my second alert.
By now the worst of the storm had passed, so I went outside to collect the roof parts and survey the damage.
It was still windy, causing these parts to flap and make a lot of noise.
I found the two roof parts and put them under the deck.
I was a bit damp when I returned inside. Then I spent some time checking Capital Weather Gang on my laptop for any reports. About then is when I saw an e-mail come in from the local junior college with an alert that we were under a Tornado Warning. That was my third alert...and a definitive one at that.
I found out there were sightings and winds all over Northern Virginia. A few more waves of storms came through but they were much gentler. That evening our roof was fixed.
After dinner I went for a walk and saw this tree damage. It is across the street from us and I found out the trampoline belongs up on that hill. I'm guessing that the trampoline hit this branch, then veered off up the street then between two houses, before finally blowing towards my backyard and slamming into my fence.
Here are two interesting videos I've found so far. If I find more interesting stuff I'll add it to the bottom as I find them.
Here is one video from Capital Weather Gang (via Ryan Lyk) of a funnel cloud over Washington DC...
And another from the National Park Service on the National Mall taken from the Jefferson Memorial...