SPC Stats

Path length: 9 miles

Width:  200 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  2

Rating:  F3

County:  Fauquier

Per the Tornado Project, Hurricane Ivan produced a total of 120 tornadoes in 3 days.  That is the largest outbreak on record associated with a tropical system.  Almost half of those tornadoes occurred on September 17, 2004.   Per the NWS Blacksburg, “In the Commonwealth of Virginia the outbreak of tornadoes added up to 38, which is by far the largest ever one-day total not only for Virginia, but for any state east of the Appalachians north of South Carolina.”

In this summary, we will focus in on the strongest tornado reported in the entire outbreak.  It occurred in Fauquier County, VA near the town of Remington.  Per the SPC database there were 2 other tornadoes in Fauquier County on this day. They were both rated F2. However in the summary provided by the NWS Baltimore/Washington, these 3 tornadoes were actually one long-tracked tornado. We have included the Storm Data narratives showing the three separate tornadoes. We have also included in its entirety the NWS summary which explains in detail one long-tracked tornado through Fauquier County. 

Storm Data Entry

Tornado #1 F3:

A strong tornado touched down in southern Fauquier County, near Remington. A home was pushed off its foundation. A new pickup truck was lifted and hurled 75 yards over trees and power lines. It crashed upside down in a field.

Tornado #2 F2:

An F2 tornado touched down near Opal and tracked north. The tornado produced severe tree damage and some structural damage to several dwellings before dissipating near Warrenton. This is the second tornado of three tornadoes in Fauquier County associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan.

Tornado #3 F2:  

An F2 tornado produced widespread structural damage to two subdivisions in northern Fauquier County. Some small items were turned into projectiles by this tornado and landed in trees and the sides of homes and some vehicles. There was substantial tree damage. Numerous large, healthy trees were uprooted and snapped. This is the third tornado of this event in Fauquier.

NWS Baltimore/Washington Summary

A tornado touched down southern Fauquier county just to the southeast of the town of Remington. This tornado produced an intermittent damage path of at least 20 miles as it moved quickly north through Fauquier County.

The results of the storm survey in this county conclude that the tornado reached a maximum intensity of F3 on the Fujita Scale. Wind speeds of an F3 range from 158 to 206 mph. The highest end damage from this storm occurred when a pickup truck on Summerduck Road southeast of Remington was lifted and carried airborne greater than 75 yards over trees and powerlines, leaving it destroyed upside down in a field. In this area the tornado was approximately 200 yards wide. This damage is consistent with winds in the F3 range on the Fujita Scale. In this rural area, structural damage was minimal.

A few miles to the north along the path of this tornado, significant structural damage was produced in the Meadows Subdivision. The tornadic winds caused several homes to sustain damage to roofs with a few homes having their roofs completely removed, one home slid off its foundation slightly, compromising the structure. Numerous garages and outbuildings were also destroyed in this subdivision by the tornado. The damage in this area was consistent with tornadic winds in the F2 range on the Fujita Scale. Winds in the F2 category range from 113 to 157 mph. The tornado was approximately 200 yards wide in this area.

The tornado continued north through Fauquier County producing intermittent damage, mostly to trees and powerlines. The tornado reached a maximum width of approximately quarter of a mile wide as it crossed Beach Road and later crossed Route 15. The damage in these areas was consistent with winds in the F1 range of the Fujita Scale. North of Route 15, but south of Broad Run, the tornado again gained strength reaching F2 intensity. Large stands of very old mature, healthy trees were snapped off and small missiles were impaled into the buildings. This type of damage was common along the track of the storm as it moved north through Fauquier County. The tornado damaged several homes and cleared large stands of trees. The tornado lifted north of interstate 66. This was a very long tracked tornado. This gives a mostly continuous path length of approximately 22 miles.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC Coordinates Tornado #1 F3:  Start: 38.52 / -77.80   End:  38.63 / -77.83   

SPC coordinates Tornado #2 F2: Start: 38.7 / -77.73   End: 38.87 / -77.73

SPC Coordinates Tornado #3 F2: Start: 36.62 / -77.78   End: 38.73 / -77.8

Corrected Coordinates based on the NWS summary showing one tornado: Start: 38.52 / -77.8  End: 38.73 / -77.8

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Map via NWS Baltimore/Washington, showing all of the confirmed tornadoes in their County Warning Area (CWA). Only one long-tracked tornado is shown here in Fauquier County. Not 3 as the SPC reports.

Images via Faquier County Sheriff via Facebook

Images via NWS Baltimore/Washington

The truck was thrown 75-yards.
F2 damage to homes.
F2 damage to a house.
Trees that were sheared off or uprooted.

Photos of the Tornado

Photo of the tornado as it passed by Remington (Fauquier County VA Government).
Photo of the tornado from Chris White.
Photo of the tornado from Chris White.

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the September 2004 Storm Data Publication (SDP), and old NWS Baltimore/Washington even summary page and found the following differences:

  • The SPC, NCDC, and SDP list three separate tracks through Fauquier County, with the first being the Remington tornado at 9 miles long. The original NWS survey clearly states that there was only one tornado in Fauquier County (a combination of the three listed by the other sources) with a path length of 22 miles.
  • The SPC, NCDC, and SDP list the maximum widths of the “three” tornadoes as 200, and 150 yards respectively. The NWS survey states this tornado up to a quarter mile, or 440 yards, in width.

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