The tornado hit around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2011, in Quantico, Prince William County, Virginia. There were reports of some minor damage including shingles removed from roofs and uprooted trees. Based on the damage and the videos posted on YouTube, the strength of the tornado was likely an EF-1, producing winds around 80 miles per hour. A large trough (extended area of low pressure) pushed into the eastern United States, providing enough moisture and spin in the atmosphere to produce small tornadoes across the mid-Atlantic states.
Overall, a cold front pushed through the eastern United States on October 13, 2011, bringing severe weather across Virginia which produced small, weak tornadoes. Fortunately, damage was minor. The people on Interstate 95 were very lucky the tornado was weak as it crossed the highway during rush hour.
Matt Daniel is weekend Meteorologist for 13WMAZ (CBS) in Macon, Georgia, and founder of the blog Athens GA Weather. He's a self-described "big weather and music geek" and has produced weather content for CNN, MSN Weather and EarthSky. He has a passion for helping to keep people safe when severe weather strikes and says if you don't have a NOAA Weather Radio ... you should get one.