NWS: Many Weather Elements Came Together To Produce Saturday Tornadoes

The National Weather Service in Newport continues to tally the number of tornadoes that hit NC Saturday and how strong they were.

A total of 26 tornadoes have been counted in the state with between 11 and 13 in Eastern Carolina. And they are still counting.

NWS Meteorologist Richard Bandy says storms like Saturday's are rare here because normally these systems follow the jet stream to the Northeast from the plains, but occasionally they do make it over the mountains. "Along with everything else that came together with it we had the timing of mid to late afternoon, we had clear skies, skies cleared throughout the day and that allowed temperatures to heat up at the surface and those temperatures increasing really helped provide fuel for the updrafts, so that combined with the really strong system just made it one of those outbreaks that only happens once in a decade or more."

Bandy also says the Storm Prediction Center in Northern Oklahoma issued a high lookout for severe weather in this area before the storm came. Bandy says this is rare, the last time Eastern Carolina was under a high risk of severe weather from tornadoes was in 1984.

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