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Minor tornado on LKN was a surprise

April 26. By Dave Vieser. If it seems like we’ve had a large number of early morning thunderstorms this spring, it’s true—four of them since January according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

But none were as dramatic as the tornado on Lake Norman Saturday morning April 22. Worst of all, it was totally unexpected.

NWS said a strong cold front moved in early that morning.

These systems usually lose strength when they arrive in the morning hours, but this one was an exception. Around 7:30 am heavy rain, hail and winds belted the Cornelius/Davidson/Mooresville area, with gusts up to 80 mph. Some residents near the lake reported golfball-sized hail.

It headed on to Kannapolis before dissipating. NWS later confirmed it was indeed a tornado, classified as an EFO “0” event.

Other than downed trees, there was only minor damage, and no injuries.

The weather folks down at Greenville-Spartanburg put the best spin on the event after they had lowered chances of severe thunderstorms just a few hours earlier. “Well, our forecast for this morning is not working out at all,” said the weather folk tongue in cheek during their Saturday morning update. Moral: Don’t fool with Mother Nature.