Dorian and Florence: A tornado comparison

Dorian and Florence: A tornado comparison

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Nearly a week after an onslaught of tornadoes caused by Hurricane Dorian, crews from the National Weather Service continue to investigate storm damage reports.

Wilmington’s National Weather Service responsibility area covers potions of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. Warning Coordination Meteorologist Steve Pfaff says the frequency of the warnings Thursday morning are unlike any he has seen in the past 20 years.

“With Dorian, it was more of a same amount of warnings, but condensed into the 6-12 hour time frame,” Pfaff said when comparing Hurricane Dorian to Hurricane Florence. "A similar amount of warnings for sure, but over a longer period of time, given Florence’s slow progression.”

Overall, 37 warnings were issued during Hurricane Dorian, while 35 warnings were issued during Hurricane Florence.

Additional storm surveys are scheduled, but as of Wednesday, 15 tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down:

- 10 were rated EF-0, with winds between 65 and 85 mph.

- 4 were rated EF-1 with winds between 86 and 110 mph

- 1 was rated an EF-2 with winds of 120 mph. This tornado started as a waterspout and came ashore impacting Carolina Shores.

Lead Meteorologist Matt Scalora and Meteorologist Rachel Zouzias have been out surveying some of the storm damage caused by Dorian. Using pictures and other information provided by the public, they are able to confirm whether the damage was caused by a tornado.

“It can be difficult if you have a weak tornado," Scalora said. "We’re looking at which way the trees fell down, if they’re all in the same direction, if there’s any convergent path, or if the trees fell in any kind of rotational manner.”

“Without the reports from people, you’re going on a wild goose chase,” added Zouzias.

The National Weather Service says 17 tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down during Hurricane Florence.

Among the twelve EF-0 and five EF-1 twisters, Pfaff says some tornado reports were unable to be verified, given Florence’s hurricane-force wind damage.

A preliminary report on Hurricane Dorian and a final report on Hurricane Florence are available on the Wilmington National Weather Service’s homepage.

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