Some claim tornado hit Lick Creek
By FRED PACE, EDITOR
LICK CREEK Zack Berry and his girlfriend Cassie Brown say they were caught right in the middle of a tornado that touched down in Lick Creek Thursday afternoon.
I was in my car as the rain picked up hard and I had to get to an open area is what I thought, I called my girlfriend and told her how scared I was and that I could not see to get very far, as I went forward a tree fell in front of me and then behind me barely missing my car, Berry said. I am from Mud River and she is from Lick Creek.
Berry said the tornado missed his holler.
A damage survey was done to determine weather there was an actual tornado and concluded that a microburst hit the Lick Creek area at approximately 5:10 p.m., according to Jamie Bielinski, with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
A microburst is a very localized column of sinking air, producing damaging divergent and straight-line winds at the surface that are similar to, but distinguishable from, tornadoes, which generally have convergent damage, according to the definition of a microbust.
There are two types of microbursts: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their life cycle: the downburst, outburst and cushion stages. The scale and suddenness of a microburst makes it a great danger to aircraft due to the low-level wind shear caused by its gust front, with several fatal crashes having been attributed to the phenomenon over the past several decades.
A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully-grown trees, which Berry photographed after the storm. The maximum speed wind of a microburst is about 80 miles per hour, officials said.
National Weather Service officials say the Lick Creek tornado was actually a wet microbursts, which are downbursts accompanied by significant precipitation at the surface which are warmer than their environment.
It was a microburst straight line wind, Bielinski said. Its like dumping water out of a bucket after you have washed your car.
For the latest weather forecast for the area, visit online at www.coalvalleynews.com and click on the weather icon near the top of the home page.
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