Start Time: 7:20 am EST End Time:
Start Time: 7:20 am EST
End Time: 7:23 am EST
Estimated Peak Winds: 85 mph
Path length: 3.3 miles
Width: 250 yards
Start Lat/Lon: 39.0946 / -77.5874
End Lat/Lon: 39.1291 / -77.5431
Staff from NOAA’s National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office located in Sterling, VA performed a survey of storm damage that occurred in the Town of Leesburg, VA on the morning of February 7, 2020. This survey, coupled with radar analysis from the KLWX WSR-88D and the FAA’s TIAD Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, concluded that a tornado rated EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale impacted the Town of Leesburg between 7:20 AM EST and 7:23 AM EST. The tornado had a path length of 3.3 miles producing intermittent damage, with a path width of up to 250 yards. The tornado was moving northeast at approximately 60 mph.
The first damage was reported in the Greenway Farm and Linden Hill subdivision in SW Leesburg. Here numerous large tree limbs were downed along with several trees completely uprooted. The damage was determined to be concentrated between Lawford Drive and Nickels Drive in a wooded area, and also along Governors Drive and Country Club Drive. TIAD radar was showing a rotational signature beginning at 7:20 AM in these locations. Wind gusts in this area were estimated to be 65 MPH from radar analysis and damage indicators.
The tornado then lifted over Route 7, with just some minor tree damage noted in the 800 block of Davis Court SE. The historic downtown portion of the Town of Leesburg, near King and Market Streets, was spared with just minimal damage. The only noteworthy damage that was observed was tree damage along Monroe Street.
As the tornado moved into NE Leesburg, both the radar and the storm survey indicated that it became much stronger. Two areas of widespread, concentrated tree damage were found. The first one was in the vicinity of Lounsberry Road NE and the Exeter Subdivision; which are north of Edwards Ferry Road and south of Battlefield Parkway NE. A townhome on Ginger Square NE had its siding and underlayment completely peeled off, exposing it’s roof trusses. Many homes along Marshall Drive NE also had roofing damage, along with trees uprooted and large branches downed. One house had lawn furniture lifted and blown in the opposite direction of the way the trees were fallen and debris was plastered on cars and homes. Damage was noted spanning the 500 and 600 blocks of Marshall Drive NE, which supports the damage width estimate of 250 yards.
The other area of concentrated wind damage was north of Battlefield Parkway NE, in and around the Fieldstone Apartment complex. Here, fifteen to twenty 1.5-2.0 foot diameter pines were uprooted. Of special note was a line of 5 large pine trees in the easternmost portion of the apartment complex which were uprooted and which fell onto two unoccupied vehicles. Several of these trees did fall in a convergent pattern. Additional large pine trees were uprooted along the US Route 15 Leesburg Bypass near itsintersection with Battlefield Parkway NE.
Analysis from TIAD radar showed velocity measurements up to 77 knots at approximately 210 feet above ground level as the tornado was in the vicinity of the Fieldstone Apartments. Taking into account some decrease in the wind’s magnitude as it got closer to ground level, along with the damage indicated in and around the Fieldstone Apartments, corroborates estimated wind gusts of up to 85 mph.
The NWS Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office thanks the Loudoun County Office of Emergency Management with providing information supporting the storm survey.