Details on Tornado Touchdown - NBC Connecticut

Details on Tornado Touchdown

NWS confirmed a small tornado just after 11 a.m. Monday



    What Meteorologists Look For to Determine Tornadoes

    Meteorologist Jackie Layer explains how teams from the National Weather Service determine when a storm is a tornado. (Published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016)

    The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in Concord, Massachusetts. Winds were estimated at 100 mph with a path of a half a mile and a width of 400 yards. In total 39 homes were damaged, one significantly.

    The last time there was a tornado that was an EF-1 or stronger was back in 2014.

    At 3:01 a.m. a tornado warning was issued for Middlesex County. By 3:09 a.m. we started receiving reports of damage in Marlborough. The possible tornado was moving northeast at approximately 35 mph, additional damage reports came in at 3:31 a.m. in Concord.

    These "thunderstorms" (or more like severe downpours) moved through without any lightning. Typically during afternoon thunderstorms you see the "cauliflower" looking clouds, but these were "low topped" storms - that's why there was no lightning. Clouds bases were also low, which helps tornado develop.

    Below is a picture of some of the damage. Instead of trees and limbs laying in the same direction, you can see the branches are laying in more of a chaotic manor.

    Photo credit: necn

    Tornadoes are rare in Massachusetts, only about one or two per year - typically with winds below 100 mph. This is the first overnight tornado since 1958! 

    We've also seen a bit of a tornado drought in Massachusetts - the last tornado warning was issued one year ago on Aug. 5 and the last tornado touchdown was in June of 2015 near Worcester.