...Tornado confirmed in Worcester MA On August 31 2014...
Location...Worcester in Worcester County MA date...August 31 2014 estimated time...810-814 PM EDT maximum ef-scale rating...EF0 estimated maximum wind speed...85 mph maximum path width...0.1 miles path length...1.7 miles beginning lat/Lon...42.24n / 71.80w ending lat/Lon...42.26n / 71.77w * fatalities...0 * injuries...0
* the information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the event(s) and publication in NWS storm data.
...Summary... the National Weather Service in Taunton MA has confirmed that a a tornado touched down in the city of Worcester MA On August 31 2014.
A National Weather Service team investigated the damage with the help of a member of the Worcester emergency management agency late this evening. Numerous reports from amateur radio operators and Skywarn spotters helped focus which areas were in need of investigation.
The initial touchdown occurred near the intersection of Perry Avenue and Fairfax Road...just to the east of Interstate 290 and north of Route 146. There was a well-defined narrow path of damage that extended northeastward for nearly 1.7 miles...passing just east of Saint Vincent hospital and ending on Gordon street... just north of Hamilton street and west of Harrington way. No damage was seen near north High School.
Overall...the damage was mostly to trees...some of which were uprooted or snapped. The snapping occurred 40-50 feet above the ground in some locations and closer to the bases at other locations. Some trees landed on cars causing significant damage to the cars. A couple of trees also landed on homes. However there was little if any structural damage to homes in an area that is relatively densely populated with homes. A few windows were broken...but by branches hitting them and not by being blow out.
On heywood street to the east of Saint Vincent hospital...a few narrow metal poles were snapped but the poles had netting attached to them which could have acted somewhat as a sail. A soccer net was entangled in trees. In a field...a few large branches were found that apparently had been airborn and deposited in the middle of the field...far from any trees. There was distinct evidence of tornadic flow...with trees blown down from southwest to northeast on one side and northeast to southwest on the other side at that location.
According to the degrees of damage portion of the Enhanced Fujita scale...the majority of the damage was at the very high end of the EF0 scale...which corresponds to wind speeds of approximately 85 mph. Doppler radar indicated a tornadic debris signature at 811 PM and thus we estimate that the tornado began at 810 PM and was on the ground until 814 PM. Radar indicated that the debris signature continued for several more minutes with rotation continuing aloft...but there was no more evidence of damage on the ground after 814 PM.
Again...the National Weather Service would like to thank our amateur radio Skywarn spotters and the Worcester emergency management agency for enabling US to rapidly investigate the damage from this storm.
This information can also be found on our website at weather.Gov/box.
For reference...the Enhanced Fujita scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:
EF0...wind speeds 65 to 85 mph. EF1...wind speeds 86 to 110 mph. EF2...wind speeds 111 to 135 mph. EF3...wind speeds 136 to 165 mph. EF4...wind speeds 166 to 200 mph. EF5...wind speeds greater than 200 mph.